Story at a glance

  • A runner in Wyoming in a now viral video managed to fend off a possible bear attack by talking to it.
  • Evan Matthews was running in Grand Teton National Park when a bear began following him.
  • Matthews explained that he chose not to run because it might confuse the bear into thinking he was its prey.

A runner in Wyoming in a now-viral video managed to fend off a possible bear attack by talking to the animal. 

Evan Matthews was running in Grand Teton National Park when a bear began following him. Matthews wrote in a short piece accompanying the video that he commonly encounters wildlife while on the trails, but this time the bear took notice. 

“I've seen plenty of bears in the wild, but this was the first time one had shown any interest in me. He must have been extra hungry,” Matthews wrote.


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Matthews explained that he chose not to run because it might confuse the bear into thinking he was its prey. He added that the usual defenses, like playing dead, might not have applied in a situation that did not involve a mother bear protecting its young. Instead, he spoke to it to show that bear that he was different. 

“I kept talking to it to show that I was a Human and not to be mistaken for another animal,” Matthews wrote. 

“With a solo bear who is interested in you like this, it is not trying to eliminate a threat - it is trying to find an easy target. Don't be one,” he added. 

Matthews encouraged viewers to take note of the varying circumstances in any bear encounter, saying he was able to stand his ground in this case and talk his way out. 

“Not all bear encounters are the same. In most cases, I've been able to just go around the animal. But this one was interested in me, so I had to change its mind,” Matthews wrote.


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Published on Apr 21, 2021