Massive grizzly bears stalked several hikers on a trail for 20 minutes at Banff National Park, according to a report published Thursday.
Thirteen hikers were trailed by two grizzly bears, who remained 10 to 20 meters away from the group, at the tourist attraction along Consolation Lake Trail near Moraine Lake, CBC reported.
“A pretty intense, but also pretty amazing experience, to see animals like that in the wild, just in their natural habitat, going for a walk with us.” — Phoebe Nicholson, guide, Discover Banff Tours. https://t.co/S2UsCKucDX
— CBC News (@CBCNews) September 15, 2023
“It’s not every day that you think you’re actually going to be that close to two grizzly bears,” Phoebe Nicholson, a Discover Banffs Tours guide leading the hike, said. “A pretty intense, but also pretty amazing experience, to see animals like that in the wild, just in their natural habitat, going for a walk with us.”
Nicholson, an Australia native, has never encountered grizzly bears before despite working as a hiking guide in Canada for six months, the outlet reported. However, she received “a lot of training” and “knew exactly what [she] should be doing.” She was nervous, admitting that putting her training “into action” was “different” from the training itself, the outlet reported. (RELATED: Bear Crashes Colorado Wedding, Gobbles Up All The Cannoli)
“The baby one did a few quick runs at one point, which may have been what we call a ‘bluff charge,’ which is where they kind of run at you to see what your reaction is going to be,” Nicholson said, per the outlet. “From my training, I know that is a normal thing. The best thing to do is, of course, to stay calm and keep a slow, slow pace so that’s exactly what we did.”
The bears eventually became disinterested in the hikers, walking up the mountain when the group arrived at Consolation Lake, according to CBC.
“We all kind of just watched in awe, getting out breath back from what had just happened,” Nicholson said, per the outlet.