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Best Dad Ever: Man Fights Brown Bear To Save Family, Wins

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May 03, 2013
Best Dad Ever: Man Fights Brown Bear To Save Family, Wins - 5

Toby Burke, a wildlife biologist for Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, was on a bird watching excursion along the Alaskan Kasilof River Beach with his family when they spotted a brown bear in the distance.

At first they didn't think much of the sighting, and soon enough the bear disappeared among some sand dunes. But the bear reappeared at close range and started heading right for Burke, his wife, their 7-month-old baby, 8-year-old son, and 11-year-old daughter.

This from ABCnews.com:

“We were raising our arms and made loud noises,” Laura Burke said. “That’s supposed to scare the bear away. Instead of running away, it came right towards us.”

"That’s when the bear bounded towards them and Toby Burke yelled to his wife, 'Get behind me!'

Laura Burke, with her 7-month old baby on her back, grabbed her two other children to get behind her husband...

Toby Burke grabbed the first thing in sight: his scope attached to a 6-foot-long tripod.

'I put the scope sideways into the bear’s mouth, keeping it away, and it swatted at the scope and severed it,' he said.

The severed metal tripod left a sharp shaft, which Burke used to hit the bear in the face to scare it away. Yet it still didn’t seem to budge and smacked the tripod out of Burke’s hands.

'It was just me between my family and the bear,' he said. 'At that point, I made physical contact. All I could do was put my left arm up. Then its mouth clamped down on my forearm. So I remember hitting it in the face with my right arm.'

After several minutes of scuffling, the bear gave up and ran away, and Burke managed to walk away with minor bruises and scratches."

The family called the Alaska State Troopers immediately after the bear took off. The troopers eventually shot and killed the bear.

“We weren’t terrified only because we always knew it’s a reality when you live up here,” Burke said. “We knew this day may come one day. Mentally, we were prepared for that.”

Comments (5)

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from Chris Garvey wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Could he have been better prepared, of course. I also look at it as there is still a glimpse of hope that there are still Men left in this Nation. Among a generation of out of work adult males living in their parents home and a society intent on emasculating the male population, this Man did what, I feel, few would of his generation and younger generations wouldn't even consider, putting themselves in between a deadly situation and their family or others. I think he deserves some recognition and I hope he now understands he should be better prepared the next time he goes out.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bob Hansen wrote 1 year 10 weeks ago

Hi...

Let's see now...an experienced Alaskan WILDLIFE EXPERT...in obvious bear country...and his "preparation" was only "mentally"...??

Gee...why didn't he "mentally" tell himself to bring along some bear spray...?? Hey...the stuff WORKS...!!

I bet he will the next time..if there is a next time.

In reality, he (and his family) got off quite easy, under the circumstances, with only those "bruises and scratches".

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sven_Katur wrote 1 year 10 weeks ago

He's just lucky the article wasn't Best Tasting Dad Ever ...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MWK_MN wrote 1 year 10 weeks ago

Mentally being prepared for it won't save your life. You got lucky you weren't eaten in front of your family or vice versa. Pack some heat next time.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from huntfishtrap wrote 1 year 10 weeks ago

Sounds like the bear wasn't too serious, or there might not have been such positive outcome.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment (200 characters or less)

from huntfishtrap wrote 1 year 10 weeks ago

Sounds like the bear wasn't too serious, or there might not have been such positive outcome.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sven_Katur wrote 1 year 10 weeks ago

He's just lucky the article wasn't Best Tasting Dad Ever ...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bob Hansen wrote 1 year 10 weeks ago

Hi...

Let's see now...an experienced Alaskan WILDLIFE EXPERT...in obvious bear country...and his "preparation" was only "mentally"...??

Gee...why didn't he "mentally" tell himself to bring along some bear spray...?? Hey...the stuff WORKS...!!

I bet he will the next time..if there is a next time.

In reality, he (and his family) got off quite easy, under the circumstances, with only those "bruises and scratches".

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from MWK_MN wrote 1 year 10 weeks ago

Mentally being prepared for it won't save your life. You got lucky you weren't eaten in front of your family or vice versa. Pack some heat next time.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Chris Garvey wrote 1 year 9 weeks ago

Could he have been better prepared, of course. I also look at it as there is still a glimpse of hope that there are still Men left in this Nation. Among a generation of out of work adult males living in their parents home and a society intent on emasculating the male population, this Man did what, I feel, few would of his generation and younger generations wouldn't even consider, putting themselves in between a deadly situation and their family or others. I think he deserves some recognition and I hope he now understands he should be better prepared the next time he goes out.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment (200 characters or less)