Today we learned: Screaming “Stop it, bear” doesn’t work

Bears like to eat, you guys. A lot. Winnie the Pooh never strayed far from his “hunny” pot. Yogi Bear and his friend Boo-Boo never met a picnic basket they didn’t like. In real life, bears eat mainly plants. Vegetation makes up close to 90 percent of a bear’s diet. The other 10 percent is a mix of fish, insects, meat…and oh yeah, large plastic boats.

In a video posted to YouTube the other day, Mary Maley documented what happened when a black bear got a taste of her kayak. And wow, it’s not pretty. Not pretty at all.

The action went down in Berg Bay, Alaska, where Maley had stopped for lunch and a 4-mile hike during a solo kayaking trip from Ketchikan to Petersburg. She’d just dragged her tent and all her camping gear from her kayak into a Forest Service cabin and had settled down to eat when she heard a noise outside. When she went to check things out, she discovered she wasn’t exactly on a solo trip, after all. A black bear had decided to keep her company.

According Maley’s caption on YouTube, she started shooting the video about five minutes into the bear’s assault on her kayak. But at the opening of the film, the bear has left the kayak alone and is sauntering right up to HER. She cheerily thanks him for leaving the kayak alone. I mean, she’s really polite and chirpy about it. Then as the bear comes closer and closer, she tells him as matter-of-factly as if she’s ordering a PSL at Starbucks, “I’m going to pepper spray you in the face. That’s what I’m going to do to you.”

Hey, at least she gives him a warning. He has a chance to rethink things and turn around. (Spoiler alert: he doesn’t.) He keeps on coming and ends up with a face full of pepper, as promised. Pepper spray is probably a wise choice when a bear is basically walking right up to you, and kudos to Mary for being prepared. Clearly though, the bear is bitter about the turn of events. In a really big way.

He turns right around, heads straight to the kayak and proceeds to chow down on it. Mary doesn’t take it well. She’s upset, and she makes sure the bear knows it. There’s a lot of pleading. A few reprimands. And then the questions start:

“You’re breaking my kayak. Why are you doing that? Why are you breaking my kayak? WHY ARE YOU BREAKING MY KAYAK? What am I going to do? Why are you breaking my kayak? Stop it! Bear, STOP IT! Stop that, bear! STOP! Stop breaking my kayak, please.”

For a few seconds, the video becomes a little hard to watch, because poor Mary breaks down in tears. (After all, she’s alone in a cabin in Alaska, where she’s pretty much stranded now that her boat has become bear chow.) You can really hear the desperation in her voice, and TBH it breaks our hearts. But we can’t help but laugh when she sighs and says, “Gosh darn it, why are you doing that?” It’s kind of adorable, gosh darn it, as are her attempts to reason with the bear. She reminds him it’s the end of September, and he’s supposed to be asleep. She points out the fact that a kayak isn’t even food. It’s plastic and can’t possibly taste good. She asks him to stop breaking her things. She even says please.

Nothing Mary says stops the eventual demise of her kayak, but we’re guessing it probably felt good to give the bear an earful while he destroyed her only mode of transportation. (We hope it did!) Poor thing ended up having to swim to a boat for help. (You go, girl!) A German-flagged sailing vessel gave her a ride to a nearby town, where she’s getting her kayak repaired. Cause of damage: bitter bear.

[Image via Shutterstock, video via YouTube.]


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