Few people come face to face with a wild bear and live to tell the tale.
Luckily for one Winnipeg man, all it took was a cellphone light to make the massive beast shake in its fur.
Garett Kolsun was on a business trip in the northern town of Churchill; it was his very first time in the area. At around 1:30 a.m. on Saturday, he noticed something large out of the corner of his eye – Kolsun’s welcoming party had arrived.
“As I looked over, I could see a polar bear charging me. It was running full tilt towards me,” he told the CBC. “So I turned to try to run to find someplace safe to go. But where I was there was no place to really go.”
Kolsun described frantically running up to a nearby bakery and trying to kick down the door, but it wouldn’t budge. In a desperate move, he spun back around, looked the animal in the eye and stuck his cellphone in its face.
The bear paused. When it took a step back, the animal knocked over a planter and startled itself. That gave Kolsun all the time he needed to bolt down the street and find help at a nearby home. He was left with two small puncture wounds on his hips, a scratched chest and a torn shirt.
He also has some advice for anyone else caught in a similar situation:
“When you’re in Churchill, take a cab,” he told the public broadcaster. “Or drive. Don’t walk after dark.”
More importantly, make sure you have a cellphone handy.
Hasta la vista, baby.