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Backpacker Magazine – Online Exclusive

Man Survives Grizzly Attack in Alberta

The bear charged a Parks Canada employee while he was biking alone.

by: Trent Knoss

image: Wikimedia
image: Wikimedia

A Canadian wildlife specialist survived a close encounter with a grizzly bear Saturday while riding his bike alone on a popular Alberta trail.

Recounting the attack, Ethan Cardinal told the CBC that he heard the bear before he saw it and that the grizzly charged from the side.  The bear pawed the Parks Canada employee in the back, knocking him from his bike, then tried to bite him.  Fortunately for Cardinal, the bear chomped into a canister of bear spray inside his pack instead.  The whole incident lasted about 10 seconds, Cardinal said.

Cardinal was treated for minor injuries, but escaped largely unscathed.  Here he is describing the incident in further detail:


Read more: CBC

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Star Star Star Star Star
Jul 05, 2014

Star Star Star Star Star
Jerry W Doyle
Jul 04, 2014

An important bear avoidance technique is never to surprise a bear. This is where mountain bikers are vulnerable because they are moving swiftly along the trails on their bikes, so swiftly that they easily can run right up on a bear before the bear knows what is happening. Consequently, the natural reaction of the bear is to attack in its' defense for self-preservation. Conversely, in the backcountry mountain bikers also are vulnerable to attacks by mountain lions who see a mountain biker moving rapidly through the forest as running prey to pursue. In summary, similar to hikers and backpackers, one increases his/her protection against animal attacks by riding with other bikers and making noise to alert animals along the path of human approach. We know, though, just as there are solo backpackers and hikers (and I am one of them) there always will be solo mountain bikers. In these instances it becomes ever more incumbent on us to make as much noise as possible to alert wild animals of our presence.


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