Sometimes a simple walk in the woods goes disastrously wrong. Just as Rick Nelson. The 61 year old was out on a walk with his dog near Sudbury, up in the wilds of Canada, when he got into an old fashioned boxing match with a black bear defending her cubs.
It all began when Nelson crossed paths with a bear cub. If you know anything about bears and their cubs, you’ll know that the most dangerous bear around is a mother defending her cubs. So when Nelson heard the cub yelping, he “knew right away” he was in for trouble.
The mother bear, weighing in at a good 300 pounds, charged from the woods. Faced with the option of running, or fighting, Nelson chose to fight. He’d been a boxer in his youth, and fighting seemed a better option than running for the aging pugilist.
“All you could hear was the bush crashing. I had no rocks, no sticks,” Mr. Nelson told the CBC. “I knew it would swing first with its left but it would really come with its right, because most bears are right-handed.”
So Nelson hauled back and socked the bear in the teeth. The bear then scratched the left side of his chest and face.
“I had the perfect shot to take,” Mr. Nelson said. “I did an underhand and hit it right in the snout.”
Then the bear cub bleated again and ran.
“Now it was the moment of truth. What’s this bear going to do? Is it going to follow its cub or is it going to come after me?” Mr. Nelson said. “[She] 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.”
Nelson, despite the match with the bear, is a pragmatist. He knows that the animals are really not as dangerous as most people would think.
“Black bears really aren’t dangerous unless you have a cub involved,” he said. “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.”
Not too shabby for a 61 year old fighting out of weight class.