A mother in Alaska, who chased a bear away after it tried to attack her son in front of her house, claimed that she looked “right into the eyes” of the predator and growled at it before it ran away.
Before facing the bear face-to-face, Shannon Caton of Haines, in the northern Panhandle area of Alaska, had sent her sixth-grade son Walther Jim outside to lock her car in case a bear tried to break in, KTOO reported.
When Jim came outside, he noticed a bear looking at him from about three meters away, he reported to the outlet.
“I jumped and tried to open the door. And then he started running after me,” Jim said. The KTOO reported that the bear was big.
Jim went into the house and told his mother that a bear was “right there,” Caton said. “Literally like, you know, nibbling on his fingertips. I thought, “No way. I opened the door, and then he tried to come in.”
The bear nudged her so that Caton “stared right into his eyes and the madman growled and screamed. Caton pounced on the bear to try to get him to back off, slammed the door shut and grabbed her shotgun.
“My dog chased him a bit, but he didn’t back off. I just unloaded 12-gauge shotgun for four rounds,” she said.
Caton and her son were right to scream and go into their house because that’s what the Alaskan Department of Fish and Game advises people to do when they encounter a bear.
Caton said it was the most aggressive bear she had seen in the area in the six years she had lived there.
It was not clear what kind of bear was approaching Jim, but a picture published by KHNS-Haines showed an animal with dark fur standing by some bikes and trees. Brown (or grizzly), black and polar bears live in Alaska.
Caton and her son are not the only ones who have problems with bears. Between October 27 and November 2 alone, the Haines County Police Department was called in to handle 17 incidents with the animals. The situation is so bad that Haines County officials have asked residents to report when a bear has damaged their property so that they can prepare for next year’s encounters, radio station KHNS FM reported last week.
According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, non-hunters this year killed 23 brown bears in Haines and nearby Skagway and 12 in Juneau, about 100 miles south of Haines.
Caton told KTOO that they believe the bears do not have enough food. To prevent future encounters with bears, she said she was now sending her dog out before anyone could leave the house.