'Stay back!' B.C. resident films close encounter with 3 bears as mama bear charges

Kitimat, B.C., resident Joey Ford said she was on Lower Dyke Road enjoying the sun and watching people fish along the river when she looked up to see three bears coming in her direction. She captured a video of the encounter, and social media users are crediting her for staying calm and handling the situation.

A close encounter with a mama bear and her cubs in Kitimat, B.C., is reminding people to be mindful of wildlife that may also be trying to beat the heat.

Joey Ford was on the Lower Dyke Road at the Kitimat River recently watching people fish and enjoying the sun.

She told Global News she was recording some flakes of pyrite in the water with her phone when she looked up to see two young cubs on the bank in front of her.

“Oh, bear,” she can be heard saying on the recording.

Ford starts backing up, saying, “Get out of here, get back!”

The camera pans over to the water and then as it pans back the three bears can be seen on the bank together. One of them is standing on its hind legs.

Ford is now in the water and one of the cubs keeps advancing toward her.

She backs up on to the bank again as it keeps coming.

“You’re a little too curious there, bud,” Ford can be heard saying.

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As Ford continues to back up and the cub keeps advancing, Ford yells, “Stay back!”

Then, from around the bush, the mama bear comes charging at Ford who then runs into the water yelling, “Hey!”

Ford told Global News she knows she is lucky to have walked away unharmed and alive.

“The sow was so stressed from all the people at the river that day, she was just trying to get her cubs somewhere safe, her one cub had other ideas,” Ford said.

“She was probably just as afraid as I was.”

According to BearWise, it’s very common for bears to beat the heat by swimming or splashing in a lake, pond, or pool.

The organization recommends doing what Ford did if anyone encounters a bear — backing away slowly, never running, and yelling at the bear to leave.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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