Ex-boxer gives black bear an uppercut

Ex-boxer Defends Himself Against Bear

A northern Ontario man on a walk with his dog got into an altercation with a black bear Sunday afternoon after encountering her cub.

Rick Nelson, 61, of Sudbury, was sitting on a log when the cub emerged from a bush. The cub was startled to see a human and wailed for its mother. Nelson, who hunted bears in the past, immediately knew he was in trouble.

“I sat down on a log and the bear cub poked its head out of the shrub nearby. 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,” he said. “It’s calling for mommy.”

The ex boxer heard the mother bear on the run through the brush, and she was soon on her hind legs in front of him, ready to fight. Nelson did not have any weapons except his hands and took a swing at the bear. He missed, and the bear quickly retaliated by scratching him on the face and torso.

His second punch landed on the bear’s snout, which drew blood. The cub cried again at seeing its mother hurt and started to run off. The mother bear soon followed.

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“I had the perfect shot to take. I did an underhand and hit it right in the snout.”

Nelson considers himself very lucky, although black bears generally do not attack people unless provoked. He said in this case, the bear was simply protecting her cub from what she thought was a threat. He added that people do not need to be afraid of bears.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry told CBC News it has not received any reports of bear attacks on people this year.

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