'He just kept coming': Kamloops dog walker survives bear attack
Ashley Gribble's dog protected its owner from a predatory bear
A professional dog walker from Kamloops, B.C. was stalked and attacked by a black bear earlier this month.
Ashley Gribble was walking five dogs, including her pit bull Bane, on a trail between McQueen Lake and Isobel Lake, 16 kilometres northwest of Kamloops, on May 5.
Gribble and the dogs were returning from a walk when a bear suddenly appeared.
"We didn't hear him. We didn't see him. Just ... bam ... there was a bear just a few feet from us. I was shocked at how close he managed to get before any of us knew he was there," Gribble told Shelley Joyce, host of Daybreak Kamloops.
'Not perturbed by the dogs'
The bear followed them for 15 minutes before the dogs' barking appeared to stop the animal. But 25 minutes later, the bear showed up again. This time he was running after them.
Gribble made her voice louder and yelled.
"He was not perturbed by the dogs or by me. He just kept coming."
Gribble used her bear spray on the animal, but it did not help. Then she tripped backwards over a rock. While on the ground the bear lunged at her.
Gribble's 80-pound pit bull, Bane, leapt in front of Gribble. The bear picked up the dog with its teeth.
"The image of the bear picking my dog up like a stick and just running with him is just really clear in my mind."
Eventually the bear pinned Bane on the ground. Gribble ran directly at the bear.
"I was just pure adrenaline. All of a sudden I was in front of this bear with this log in my hand just beating him in the face."
Gribble says this was not a good decision and could have made the attack worse. But the bear eventually left after Gribble continued to make loud noises.
Bane suffered 26 individual punctures from the bear's teeth and claws, and had to get stitches.
Conservation officers investigated the trail area to see if they could find cubs, which would show the bear was acting defensively. They did not find anything, and concluded it was a predatory attack.
Conservation officers later euthanized the bear.
"I'm very upset about that. But I also know that the risk of public safety was just so incredibly high," said Gribble.
Listen to the full story here:
With files by Daybreak Kamloops.