Last year we learned that nothing can come between a man and his dog — not even a bear. On Sunday, a 61-year-old Canadian man discovered that a mama bear will do all that she cans to protect her cub – including taking a few punches to the face, CBC News reports.
Rick Nelson, a former bear hunter, was walking his dog in Sudbury, Ontario, when he sat down on a log and realized he was face-to-face with a black bear cub. “It was so close I could touch it. It let out a yelp, because I scared the heck out of it,” Nelson told CBC News. “I knew right away I was in trouble. It’s calling for mommy.”
Nelson quickly jumped up to his feet and realized he had no sticks or rocks to use as weapons to protect himself against the cub’s mother who was now standing on her hind legs directly in his path. Nelson, who had taken boxing lessons in the past, decided to use his fists, striking the 320-pound bear right in her teeth only to be scratched back.
“I knew it would swing first with its left but it would really come with its right, because most bears are right-handed. I had the perfect shot to take. I did an underhand and hit it right in the snout. Believe me, when you’ve got adrenaline pumping, you can hit. Even at 61 with grey hair, you can still hit hard.”
Before the fight could continue, the cub squealed and began walking away. Its mother followed without harming Nelson again. Throughout the entire ordeal, he only suffered a few scratches to the face and shoulder.
“[The mother bear] turned around and it was snorting blood. It looked at me, and I thought, ‘Oh no. Here it comes,’ but it just turned back around and walked away like nothing ever happened and followed the cub. So, I really lucked out there.”
According to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, black bear attacks are extremely rare and they usually only attack when they feel threatened. Nelson agrees with the ministry.
“Black bears really aren’t dangerous unless you have a cub involved. So sometimes black bears get a really bad rap. Probably they’re more afraid of you and [me], than we are of them. I’m really glad that the bear walked away. And I’m really glad I did too.”
The man is currently not signed up for any additional interspecies boxing matches.