Yukon wildlife officials want to limit the number of interactions with humans as bears begin to fatten up ahead of winter. (Jonathan Hayward/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

B.C. cyclist fights off grizzly bear with camping knife


A British Columbia man is crediting a camping knife, a gift from his father, for helping him survive a terrifying attack by a grizzly bear earlier this week.

Colin Dowler, 45, was cycling on his mountain bike around backcountry logging roads outside of Powell River, about 170 kilometres northwest of Vancouver, on Tuesday when he suddenly came upon a large male grizzly bear, walking in his direction.

“I wasn’t really sure what to do about the situation,” Dowler told CBC News from his Vancouver hospital bed. “I largely stood there, and let the grizzly keep walking up towards me.”

(click to listen to the report by CBC reporter Tanya Fletcher)

Worried that any sudden movements on his part could provoke the bear, Dowler said he nervously watched as the animal got closer and closer.

Dowler said he had a hiking pole with him and tried to poke the animal to nudge it away.

But the bear kept advancing, and swiped at Dowler’s mountain bike.

“It grabbed me by the stomach and kind of pushed me down and dragged me toward the ditch maybe 50 feet,” he said. “I tried eye gouging it away and it didn’t really work.”

As the bear continued its relentless attack, biting into Dowler’s thigh and leg, he suddenly remembered that he had a small knife in his pocket. He had received it as a gift from his father two weeks earlier.

Dowler says he still can’t understand how he managed to get to the knife while the bear kept chewing on his leg.

“I used both hands to pull underneath the bear to get to that knife, and I grabbed the knife out and opened it and put it in [my] hand and stabbed the bear in his neck,” Dowler told CBC News.

“It let go of me immediately. It was bleeding quite badly.”

Colin Dowler stabbed a grizzly bear in the neck and then rode his mountain bike nearly seven kilometres to safety. (Jon Hernandez/CBC)

Bleeding profusely, the bear watched as Dowler managed to cut off one of his shirt sleeves and bandage his leg.

“I wasn’t really sure if it was dying faster than I was,” Dowler said.

Somehow he managed to get back on his mountain bike and pedal away.

“I was thinking I’m not going to make it,” he said. “It was pretty freaking scary.”

In fact, Dowler pedalled for seven kilometres until he reached a remote worksite and collapsed.

Alerted by his cries for help, five workers showed up and began administering first aid, trying frantically to stop the bleeding in Dowler’s legs.

They also called an air ambulance.

Dowler is now recovering inside Vancouver General Hospital with non life-threatening injuries.

B.C. wildlife officials said they had to put down the bear after it snuck behind one of the officers.

With files from Tanya Fletcher and Chris Corday of CBC News

Categories: Society
Tags: , ,

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet Netiquette guidelines.

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1. RCInet.ca’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. RCInet.ca reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3. RCInet.ca’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish or in one of the two official languages, English or French. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *