(Photos: Sean Kilpatrick/THE CANADIAN PRESS; DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)
It's 1:30 a.m. and you're wandering the unfamiliar and empty streets of Churchill, Manitoba. Out of the corner of your eye, you catch sight of a polar bear charging toward you. Desperate, you try to kick down the door of a bakery to get inside, but the 150-kilogram beast is already bearing down on you with its teeth and claws. What do you do?
When Garett Kolsun found himself in just that situation on Saturday, he reached for his trusty cellphone. Amazingly, it worked. As Kolsun told CBC, the bear stepped back when he thrust the lit phone in its face, causing it to knock over a planter. When the startled bear turned its head to see what had happened, Kolsun took off, eventually calling a cab to take him to hospital.
In the end, Kolsun escaped with scratches on his chest and two puncture wounds where the bear's teeth tore through his jacket and pants. That, and one heck of an escape story.
George also took a trip to Churchill in 2010, and had his own close (but safe) encounter with polar bears. Check it out:
Of course, there's no evidence that Kolsun's cellphone defense was anything more than a fluke. Should you find yourself near a polar bear, Parks Canada suggests you quietly back away, staying downwind at all times. If you're unlucky enough to have a polar bear charging at you, the recommendation is simple, if terrifying: "stand your ground and be prepared to fight!"
Via CBC News