A quick-thinking skier narrowly avoided an encounter with a female bear and her newborn cub after it was too late to stop on a mountain in Canada.
Hair-raising footage shows Jaime Stein make his way down a slope in Whistler, Canada, before seeing the outline of a black bear in the middle of the run as he bounded around a corner.
We see the outline of the bear and Stein seems to slow as he advances and realises that she is accompanied by her newborn cub.
We then see her charge towards him as he continues down the slope, missing her by metres.
Stein later said that realising that the mother was with her cub, he didn’t want to lose momentum on the slushy snow and made the decision to carry on, swerving right to keep a safe enough distance.
He carefully skis around the bear, but as he does she takes a few steps towards him in what is seemingly a bluff charge warning him to keep away from her cub.
After quickly skiing away, Jaime revealed she had a second cub hiding in the rocks on the right side of the slopes, which she was concerned about likely causing her reaction.
Trouble ahead: The skier sees a black outline in the distance and realising that it is a black bear, proceeds to swerve to the right to avoid it
Jaime Stein is just metres away from the American black bear, a relatively common sighting in north America
The alert skier said: ‘I’ve come across bears before in Whistler, in the mountain bike park and on hiking trails. I’ve come within 10ft or so and usually they just look at you and turn away. ‘I figured there was enough space to ski by so I continued skiing down the slope.
‘But this mother bear had a cub with her, which I didn’t spot until late. And what I didn’t realize, was there was a second bear cub hiding behind rocks on the right side of the run.
‘Clearly, the mother bear was concerned about her cub, and was heading towards it, but as I skied by took some steps towards me in a bluff charge.
‘A couple of Australians were standing further down the run and saw me ski by the bear and said ‘you got some balls to ski around the bear like that.’
Keep away: The bear begins to charge at Stein. American black bears tend to be territorial and non-gregarious in nature
‘The lesson learned here is that even if you think you are giving bears enough space, you should probably give them even more space.’ The hair-raising moment occurred on May 6 2018.
The nail-biting video has clocked up nearly 80,000 views on social media.
Some users were not impressed by his actions with one, Marius Purcell, calling the move ‘wildlife harassment.’
He said: ‘This is exactly WHAT NOT TO DO. You were playing with fire. Could have very easily been attacked. This person does not know what to do.’
Territorial: Black bears rarely attack when confronted by humans, and usually limit themselves to making mock charges and swatting the ground with their forepaws.
Another agreed with him saying: ‘If you’re clueless enough to not stop and continue when you see a mother bear and her cub, then you wholly deserve what’s coming to you. That bear could’ve leapt earlier and be on the skier for what, 10 sec rush?!?’
Black bears common in north America and are regularly sighted in these parts of Canada. Fortunately, they are not typically aggressive towards humans unless they feel heir territory is compromised.
They rarely attack when confronted by humans, and usually limit themselves to making mock charges and swatting the ground with their forepaws.