Two hikers stopped to watch a large grizzly bear gingerly scale a cliffside. What happened next was shocking.
Nature Photographer Neal Fenton captured a moment rarely caught on film when he saw Anthony and Michelle Menton hiking a steep hillside. The couple had stopped to watch a large grizzly bear majestically ascend the rocks, clamoring up to the top of the cliff.
“The bear climbed with intention,” Fenton observed. “He had a plan.”
The bear did have a plan. One that would change the Menton’s lives forever—by killing them. Moments after reaching the top of the cliffside, the bear slapped its elbow three times, then leapt off the cliff’s edge and careened toward the couple with its elbow outstretched to come down on them with one fierce, punishing atomic elbow. It was at that very moment that Fenton snapped the picture that would haunt the Fenton family forever.
Fenton then hid his eyes as the bear made impact. According to the observer, the couple was crushed to near powder, leaving almost nothing behind besides a light dusting of human particles.
Bear behavior research analyst, Chuck Swaggle of the Ursine Institute for Bear Attack Awareness says that bears see cliffsides, trees and mountain tops as naturally occurring turnbuckles. “We see a glorious vista point, they see the top rope,” Swaggle said. “The higher it is, the better to rain down devastating moves on their opponent from.”
…bears see cliffsides, trees and mountain tops as naturally occurring turnbuckles. “We see a glorious vista point, they see the top rope,” Swaggle said. “The higher it is, the better to rain down devastating moves on their opponent from.”
In one of Swaggle’s most famous studies, he found that bears climb up to high points often, but never to take in the glorious view as humans do. They always climb with the intention of doing a devastating aerial move, ignoring the view and keeping their eyes locked on their target at all times. “Sunsets and vistas mean nothing to bears. The look of horror in a man’s eyes before he gets owned? That’s bear’s sunset.”
Other moves bears have been known to do after climbing to high points are atomic knee drops, diving back elbows, diving DDTs, diving double axe handles, diving bulldogs, diving headbutts, diving hurricanranas, diving crossbodys, moonsault double foot stomps, flying clotheslines, flying spinning heel kicks, corkscrew 450° splashes, reverse frankensteiners, and the occasional cannonball.
If you witness a bear ascending a tree or hillside, you should immediately run in the opposite direction and take cover wherever possible. However, most people do not see aerial bear attacks coming until it is too late. So be sure to look up regularly when in bear country. The forecast just might be a torrential downpour of devastating bear elbow.