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Nerve-wracking moment: Bear stalks family on Canadian trail

A family outing turned into a frightening situation when a black bear started to take interest in the hikers.
Credit: Wirestock - stock.adobe.com
An American black bear.

WHISTLER, BC — It's not every day you come face-to-face with a bear and live to tell about it. 

But that's exactly what happened for one American family hiking through a trail in Whistler, Canada. 

In a video uploaded to Instagram, Brighton Peachy -- a former healthcare worker-turned outdoor lifestyle influencer -- shared the moments a black bear started following her husband, Michael Hofer, and their three children aged between one and six. 

"Ok, he's following you, babe," Peachy can be heard telling Hofer as he carries one of his children in a backpack and holds the hand of another with the bear slowly approaching from behind. Peachy then starts shouting loudly in an attempt to scare off the curious critter. 

With no success and the bear creeping closer, Hofer appears to throw a shoe at the animal while Peachy calms the children and instructs them not to run. At one point, one of the children, who appears unfazed by the situation, asks: "Can we play dead yet?"

The following video contains language that some viewers might find offensive:

Peachy wrote in the comments that the bear followed them for over half a mile before losing interest and scurrying away. The family of five eventually ran into another group of hikers who decided to head back together in case the bear decided to reappear. 

"We later learned they’ve had to close this area multiple times because of this bear's increasing aggressive behavior," she wrote. "The bear was not intimidated by us at all, he just kept following us."

Peachy also included some tips for her followers to prevent a bear attack. Some of these include: properly storing all food and scented products like lotion and to always hike in groups, making sure to make plenty of noise throughout the hike to deter bears from approaching. 

Should a bear approach, Peachy said it is important to never get closer to the bear or make sudden movements, using bear repellant if available. She added to try to make yourself as large as possible so that the bear knows you're human and "not dinner."

If a bear attacks, she said to follow her child's advice and play dead, making sure to cover your head and neck.

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