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74-Year-Old Hiker Followed by Mama Bear And Cubs On Trail in Alaska

Geoffrey Glassner via InsiderEdition on YouTube
Geoffrey Glassner via InsiderEdition on YouTube

74-year-old Geoffrey Glassner experienced a thrilling and potentially dangerous encounter with a mother grizzly bear and her two cubs while hiking in a National Park in Alaska. Instead of succumbing to fear, Glassner remained calm and kept his cell phone camera rolling throughout the entire experience.

Hiker’s Unexpected Company

While visiting a National Park in Alaska, Glassner found himself followed by a mother grizzly bear and her two cubs. Hoping they would veer off the trail, he kept his cool as the grizzly family continued to follow him. The protective mother stayed close to her cubs, ensuring they stayed together.

Mother Bears and Cubs Behavior

Grizzly bear
Grizzly bear sow and cub in shoeshone national park. Image via. Image via U.S. Forest Service, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Why did the grizzly bear and her cubs follow the hiker?


Grizzly bears, especially mothers with cubs, may follow a human out of curiosity or perceived threat. In this case, the protective mother ensured her cubs stayed close, possibly seeing the hiker as a potential threat to her young.

How should one react when encountering a bear in the wild?

A portrait of a wild grizzly bear.
A portrait of a wild grizzly bear. By Jean Beaufort. Image via https://www.publicdomainpictures.net/en/view-image.php?image=300112&picture=grizzly-bear, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=82893998


Stay calm, avoid making sudden movements, and speak softly. Do not run, as it might trigger a chase. Back away slowly and make yourself appear larger by raising your arms.

15 Facts About Brown Bears

Grizzly
Grizzly bear.

Image by Simon Hurry via Pexels.

What is the scientific name of the brown bear?

Grizzly bear
Grizzly bear by asbjhb via depositphotos.com

The scientific name of the brown bear is Ursus arctos.

How big can brown bears get?

Brown bears can weigh between 300 to 1,500 pounds, with males generally being larger than females. They can stand up to 5 feet tall at the shoulder when on all fours and about 8 feet tall when standing on their hind legs.

What do brown bears eat?

Grizzly bear in typical landscape of tundra in Denali NP, Alaska, US.
Image by roussien on depositphotos.

Brown bears are omnivorous and have a varied diet that includes fish, berries, plants, and small mammals. They are also known to scavenge carrion and hunt larger animals when food is scarce.

Where do brown bears live?

The Kamchatka brown bear, Ursus arctos beringianus catches salmons at Kuril Lake in Kamchatka, in the water. Grizzly Bear. Image via Depositphotos.

Brown bears are found in North America, Europe, and Asia. In North America, they are primarily found in Alaska, western Canada, and parts of the northwestern United States.

How long do brown bears live?

Grizzly Bear. Image via Depositphotos.

In the wild, brown bears can live up to 20 to 30 years, though the average lifespan is shorter due to various threats. In captivity, they can live longer due to a consistent food supply and lack of predators.

How do brown bears hibernate?

Grizzly Bear. Image via Depositphotos.

Brown bears enter a state of hibernation during the winter months. During this period, their metabolism slows down significantly, allowing them to survive without eating for months.

What is unique about a bear’s hibernation?

grizzly bear
Grizzly Bear in Banff. Image by jill@ghostbear.org via Depositphotos

Unlike true hibernators, brown bears can wake up quickly if disturbed. They do not eat, drink, urinate, or defecate during hibernation, relying on fat stores built up during the summer and fall.

How do brown bears communicate?

Dangerous brown bear, ursus arctos, approaching on green grass from front view in summer. Strong wild animal with threatening look walking on grass with copy space. Grizzly Bear. Image via Depositphotos.

Brown bears communicate through vocalizations, body language, and scent markings. They use growls, roars, and grunts to express different emotions and intentions.

How do brown bears care for their cubs?

Grizzly bear
Close-up of brown bear. Image via Depositphotos

Mother bears are highly protective of their cubs, caring for them for up to 2-3 years. Cubs learn essential survival skills from their mothers, including how to find food and avoid predators.

What is the biggest threat to brown bears?

Grizzly Bear. Image via Depositphotos.

The biggest threats to brown bears are habitat loss, human conflict, and climate change. These factors impact their food sources and living environments, posing significant risks to their populations.

How do brown bears mark their territory?

Mother bear protects her three little puppies in the finnish taiga, matte style. Grizzly Bear. Image via Depositphotos.

Brown bears mark their territory by rubbing their bodies against trees, scratching the bark, and leaving scent markings. These behaviors help establish dominance and communicate presence to other bears.

Are brown bears solitary or social animals?

North American Grizzly Bear in snow at spring in Western Canada. Grizzly Bear. Image via Depositphotos.

Brown bears are generally solitary, except for mothers with cubs or during mating season. However, they may gather in areas with abundant food sources, such as salmon streams.

How fast can brown bears run?

Grizzly Bear. Image via Depositphotos.

Brown bears can run up to 35 miles per hour for short distances. Despite their large size, they are incredibly agile and capable of surprising bursts of speed.

Do brown bears have a good sense of smell?

Grizzly Bear. Image via Depositphotos.

Brown bears have an exceptional sense of smell, estimated to be about 100 times better than that of humans. This keen sense helps them locate food from great distances.

How do brown bears contribute to their ecosystem?

This Grizzly or Brown Bear views down the trail in this local zoo exhibit. Late evening summer hours for members help find the animals more active, and the sunset in the background tells the time of day. Image via depositphotos.com

Brown bears play a crucial role in their ecosystem by dispersing seeds through their scat and maintaining healthy populations of prey animals. Their foraging behavior also helps to aerate the soil, promoting plant growth.

Conclusion

Grizzly Bear
Male Grizzly Bear walking through mountain meadow. Image via Depositphotos

The encounter between Geoffrey Glassner and the grizzly bear family highlights the importance of understanding and respecting wildlife. By staying calm and informed, humans can safely share the wilderness with these magnificent creatures. Brown bears, with their remarkable adaptations and behaviors, continue to fascinate and inspire those who venture into their habitats.

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