Bear sniffs man playing dead on Alder Street

Riley Teufel’s early morning walk turned into a nightmare after a terrifying encounter with a bear forced him to play dead on the side of the road

Riley Teufel’s early morning walk turned into a nightmare after a terrifying encounter with a bear forced him to play dead on the side of the road.

Teufel, 19, was walking towards the Sportsplex on South Alder Street about 9 a.m. last Saturday morning when he heard a rustling in the bushes.

Assuming it was a deer, Teufel was surprised to see a bear emerge from the trail between Candy Lane and the Sportsplex bike bath.

“It was fairly big, bigger than me,” Teufel said. “I thought ‘what am I going to do’ and then as I thought that, it started to come towards me so I threw the apple that I had with me and I thought it would go after the apple.”

But the bear, which Teufel said had brown fur, wasn’t interested in the apple and instead kept coming closer and closer.

In a moment of panic, Teufel couldn’t remember whether to run or lie down when encountering a bear.

“Initially my first response was ‘I can sprint fairly well’ but then looking at the size of the bear, I knew it would outrun me so I lay down on the sidewalk and just played dead,” Teufel said. “I thought ‘is this the end?’ and all of a sudden I could feel the bear’s breath on my face and a terrible smell – it smelled awful.”

For about one agonizing minute, the bear sniffed Teufel from his head all the way down to his feet before he heard the bear walk away towards the apple he had thrown.

“I heard the crunching but I then I opened my eyes and I could see he still wasn’t leaving.

The entire time I just kept thinking, ‘go away, go away’ and then finally I heard a car revving its engine and a horn honking,” Teufel said.

Two men driving down the street saw Teufel lying on the ground and the bear nearby and thought he had been mauled. Teufel said one of the men jumped out of the car and ran over to check that he was okay.

“I told him I was fine but I was in such shock that I didn’t even thank the guy and I feel awful about that,” Teufel said. “I want to say thank you to both of them for scaring off the bear because I didn’t get a chance to.”

Teufel said he’s not sure what type of bear it was that gave him such a scare but said it didn’t look like the black bears he’s seen in the past. He was also surprised at how brazen the bear was considering he didn’t see any cubs nearby.

“They’re not usually very aggressive,” Teufel said. “Most bears don’t do much when you see them in the wild but this one came right out to me and was definitely curious because it sniffed me quite a lot – they don’t do that too often.”

This is the second time in recent months that a bear has been spotted in the area. A bear sighting was posted at the Sportsplex disc golf course at the end of July.

According to Parks Canada, if you see a bear you should never run away but stop and remain calm – screams or sudden movements may trigger an attack. Speak calmly and firmly to the bear, make yourself look big and back away slowly. If the bear is unaware of your presence, quietly move away without getting its attention.

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Residents escape fire in Campbell River mobile home

CR Firefighters respond to mobile home fire this morning. No injuries reported.… Continue reading

Future of Campbell River Sportsplex will go to public consultation

‘We have buckets on the floor to catch the leaks in the roof. That’s unpalatable to me’

City of Campbell River Budget 2020: Capital projects

Over $30 million of city’s 2020 budget will be spent on infrastructure improvements

Still time to grab a tag and help a local child this Christmas

As of end of day Tuesday, there were still 134 tags remaining on the Angel Tree

Campbell River municipal tax rate to rise 2.9 per cent in 2020

City council deliberated on next 10-year financial plan over three days this week

VIDEO: Federal Liberals’ throne speech welcomes opposition’s ideas

Trudeau will need NDP or Bloc support to pass legislation and survive confidence votes

VIDEO: Rockslide closes part of Highway 93 in Fairmont Hot Springs

Geotechnical team called in to do an assessment after rocks fell from hoodoos

MARS receives the gift of an X-ray machine

Country Animal Hospital in Courtenay donated the machine and processing machine to MARS

Petition calls for appeal of ex-Burns Lake mayor’s sentence for sex assault

Prosecution service says Luke Strimbold’s case is under review

Northwest B.C. wildlife shelter rescues particularly tiny bear cub

Shelter co-founder says the cub weighs less than a third of what it should at this time of year

BC firefighters to help battle Australian bushfires

Canada sent 22 people, including 7 from B.C.

B.C. NDP touts the end of MSP premiums

Horgan, James held news conference to reiterate that people will get their last bill this month

Oscar Hickes: Longest running hockey tournament on Vancouver Island cancelled

Patrick Murray, one of the organizers for the tournament, broke the sad news on social media.

Illicit drug deaths down, but B.C. coroner says thousands still overdose

Chief coroner Life Lapointe says province’s drug supply remains unpredictable

Most Read