- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 6, 2016

A Canadian man used his old boxing skills over the weekend to survive a brief battle with an angry black bear.

Rick Nelson, 61, of Sudbury was out Sunday with his dog when he unwittingly sat on a log near a bear cub. He “knew right away” that he was in trouble when it started to yelp.

A 300-pound mother bear charged from the woods and Mr. Nelson’s “fight or flight” instincts kicked in. He chose to stand firm.

“All you could hear was the bush crashing. I had no rocks, no sticks,” Mr. Nelson told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. “I knew it would swing first with its left but it would really come with its right, because most bears are right-handed.”

The Canadian’s first punch hit the bear in the teeth. The animal countered with a swing that scratched the left side of his chest and face.

“I had the perfect shot to take,” Mr. Nelson said of his second punch. “I did an underhand and hit it right in the snout.”

The fight paused when the bear cub beneath them let out a second squeal and shuffled off in another direction, CBC reported.

“Now it was the moment of truth. What’s this bear going to do? Is it going to follow its cub or is it going to come after me?” Mr. Nelson said. “[The mother bear] turned around and it was snorting blood. It looked at me and I thought, ‘Oh no. Here it comes.’ But it just turned back around and walked away like nothing ever happened and followed the cub. So I really lucked out there.”

The former boxer told CBC that, despite the incident, people should not worry about black bears.

“Black bears really aren’t dangerous unless you have a cub involved,” he said. “So sometimes black bears get a really bad rap. Probably they’re more afraid of you and [me] than we are of them. I’m really glad that the bear walked away. And I’m really glad I did, too.”

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