Jack Hanna Thwarts Off Grizzly Bear Attack

Jack Hanna Thwarts Off Grizzly Bear Attack

Wildlife TV legend Jack Hanna tells how he fought off a grizzly bear on a remote mountain trail.  He defended himself using of all things, pepper spray.

"I went bam!  Unloaded a blast that went right in its face.  It burns like, I mean, it burns, big-time," said Hanna.

Hanna, his wife and several other hikers were on a narrow trail in Glacier National Park in Montana over the weekend.  Suddenly, he was confronted by three grizzlies coming the opposite way.  There was nowhere to turn.  Rock on one side, a thousand-foot drop-off on the other.

"I take the pepper spray which I wear on me, I take it off, I take the safety off and I go like this," said Hanna as he pointed the pepper spray.

Hanna tried to back up, but one of the bears wasn't letting him off that easily.

"The hairs bristled up. And I went to myself, I didn't say it outloud, I said, 'Oh boy.'  And all of sudden it came for us, and I took the pepper spray and shot a blast maybe at 25 feet, which I shouldn't have done.  I should have waited because the wind was blowing real hard and it didn't get to him.  Then he got about 15 feet away and I blasted again, and he (shook it off) and then he was about 10 feet in front of us, I went bam!  I unloaded a blast, it went right in his face, he went over backwards and took off," said Hanna.

"Someone asked me, did I hurt the bear.  Right now, the bear's fine, I know that.  I'm not out to hurt anything.  I'm trying my best to take care of people and the bear," said Hanna.

Ironically, Hanna made a public service announcement on the value of pepper spray in repelling bear attacks just two weeks ago.

"I just can't believe the timing of this whole thing," said Hanna.

Meanwhile, there's sad news about another bear-attack victim.  Last month we told you about wildlife photographer Jim Cole, who lost an eye after being mauled by a grizzy in Yellowstone Park.  Cole wrote a book called Blind-Sided about his experiences.  Cole died of a heart attack earlier this week.