A Canadian man’s cell phone proved to be a lifesaver when he came upon a 396-pound polar bear. But he did not use it to call for help.
While walking home in the early morning in Churchill, an area known as the “polar bear capital of the world,” Garett Kolsun saw something out of the corner of his eye.
“I turned and looked, and it was a polar bear charging towards me,” Kolsun told the Canadian Press about Saturday's incident. “I started running from it, looking for some place to go and get away from this bear.”
With no businesses open in the small town in the wee hours of the morning, Kolsun was all alone with nowhere to hide.
By the time he turned around to face the bear, Kolsun said “it was already there, right on top of me.”
“The bear’s nose was inches away from me. I didn’t know where else to go. I was just (thinking), ‘what can I do to get away from this bear?’ That’s all I kept thinking about. I didn’t want to be a stat.”
And that is when Kolsun decided to shine his cell phone screen toward the bear.
“When it turned its head, I just turned and ran as fast as I could,” he explained.
“I was trying anything at that point. I was screaming, yelling, waving my arms, trying everything and it just kept chasing me and chasing me. I was just hoping for the best and, luckily, it worked.”
By the time Kolsun reached a home with lights on several blocks away, the bear had stopped chasing him some point along the way.
Somehow, Kolsun managed to escape the situation with just a few cuts and scratches.
“I was definitely very lucky,” Kolsun said. “He could have hurt me worse.”
The same day of the attack, the bear was captured and taken to what is known as the provincial polar bear jail, a transformed military warehouse with 28 holding cells for stray bears, in Church which is located Manitoba, Canada.