A Harrowing Ordeal Caught On Camera
Cameras were rolling for the entire ordeal. The short video, which went viral almost instantly, has people all over the world in an uproar. The gentlemen who were present during the distressing situation will never forget those few terrifying moments.
The Drama Unfolds
When the dog first bolted from the forest, the men began to wonder why the dog was behaving so strangely. Was it chasing a squirrel? Maybe it smelled another dog nearby. The men were convinced that whatever it was that had the dog acting so out of character was sure to be something worth seeing, so they pulled out their phones and began recording. They would have never been able to guess what was about to unfold.
It wasn’t long before the men were squinting to see what had the dog so preoccupied. After a few moments passed, the men noticed a large dark silhouette approaching from the tree-line. As the dark shape got closer, the men began to wonder if their curiosity would get the best of them. In a matter of seconds, the lighthearted scene took a turn for the worse as the men came to terms with the danger they were seeing, face-to-face.
A Mysterious Backstory
Footage of the harrowing ordeal was uploaded onto Rumble, a popular site for video sharing, on November 23, 2015. From there, it was spread all over social media platforms. Because the video came out of Finland, nobody really knows anything about the men, or why they were hanging out near the woods on the side of the road. The only thing that we can say for sure is that these gentlemen, along with their loyal canine, were part of a once-in-a-lifetime incident.
Lights, Camera, Action
From the footage on Rumble, we can tell that the group consisted of four men. Three of them were standing next to two cars, and another gentleman was about 100 yards down the road next to his car. Because the men were so far apart, the wild scenario was captured on camera from two separate angles, giving the audience a chance to see exactly how everything went down, from the suspenseful beginning all the way to the thrilling ending.
The Overly-Ambitious Dogs Of Finland
The men had been traveling on the backroads of Finland with their loyal canine companion, who just so happened to be an active hunting dog. The national dog of Finland- the Finnish Spitz, as well as the Karelian Bear Dog, are two Finnish dog breeds known for their hunting prowess and bravery. These pups won’t just chase after birds, foxes, and squirrels. They have also been known to go after elk, bears, and other beasts of the forest.
Following The Scent
On this fateful day, this Karelian Bear Dog’s courageousness left him and his human friends in a potentially life-threatening situation. When the men pulled over to the side of the road to take a break from driving, the KBD immediately made a b-line for the woods. As the curious pooch sniffed around the wilderness, its owners became aware that the dog had found something. At this point, the men decided to pull out their cameras to capture the encounter on video.
A Beast Emerges
Through the howling wind, the men could hear the muffled sounds of their dependable dog barking and growling at something in the woods. It was now apparent to the men that their pooch was following its hunting instincts and chasing after something in the woods. As the barking got louder, the men began to fear that their dog had stumbled upon something dangerous. The next thing they knew, a creature emerged from the woods, and it wasn’t their dog!
In Harm’s Way
Within just a few seconds, the men realized that their dog’s fearlessness had put everyone in an unfortunate situation. It turns out that the dog decided to chase after a giant bear. Without intending to do so, the dog flushed the bear out of the woods and into the middle of the road. Now, not only was the dog himself in danger, but the men filming near their cars were also in harm’s way. The men were frozen in fear.
Keeping Their Cool
Luckily, nobody panicked. The men in the video understood that if you ever find yourself face-to-face with a wild animal, the last thing you want to do is make a sudden movement or try to run away immediately. Even an animal as large as a bear will effortlessly outrun a human trying to escape. Plus, an impulsive retreat would only antagonize the predator further and encourage them to catch an early dinner. Despite the stressful circumstances, the men kept their cool.
All Bark And No Bite
Their first concern was for their dog. While he may have been bred as a hunting companion, in all honesty, he was all bark and no bite. If the dog was within arm’s reach of the ferocious bear, he wouldn’t have stood a chance, and the men knew it. However, the dog definitely had a much higher likelihood of escaping the situation on foot than the cameramen. For this reason, the men began to fear for their own lives.
Full Speed Ahead
After the bear ran onto the street, its first action was to sprint full speed at the man standing by himself. At this moment, most folks watching the video can’t help but look away. Somehow, the man remains calm in the face of uncertainty. He refuses to flinch even though the bear shows no sign of slowing down or retreating. Soon enough, the dog comes into the frame and begins to chase down the bear in an attempt to protect his human friend.
The dog’s effort to chase down the bear ended up saving one of the men filming. Once the bear realized there was something behind him, he turned around and began to pursue the dog instead. While the man standing alone was able to breathe a sigh of relief, he now feared for what would become of his loyal pup. When the dog noticed the bear turn around, survival instincts took over, and the dog fled, making its way back into the woods.
Change Of Plans
The bear soon realized that the dog was easily going to escape back into the forest. The beast then set its eyes on an easier target- the three men filming next to their cars. As the dog veered off the road and made its way into the woods, the bear stayed on a straight path heading towards the men. In a split second, the men understood that the unthinkable was happening. Luckily, one of the men knew exactly what to do.
Last Ditch Effort
The man closest to the car threw his hands up in the air, making himself appear as big as possible, while simultaneously yelling at the top of his lungs. He was hoping that his actions would frighten the bear and force the animal to retreat. The few short moments felt like a lifetime for the guys on the side of the road. We can’t even try to imagine the feeling of staring into the eyes of a charging bear.
Putting The Camera Down
From the opposite angle, viewers of the video get a first-hand experience of the terror which these guys faced. After the bear gives up on chasing the dog and turns to run in the direction of the camera, the viewer hears a panicked scream just before the shot goes blurry. One can only assume that the cameraman became aware of the severity of the situation and decided that filming the nature encounter was no longer a top priority.
Too Little, Too Late
The three terrified gentlemen quickly make a desperate effort to get inside the car, but by now, it was already too late. With its surprising agility, the bear was just a few strides away from them. They had no chance of opening the car doors, entering the vehicle, and closing the door before the bear reached them. The only thing that was left for the men to do at this point was to pray for a miracle.
No Dog Left Behind
Just when the three men accepted their fate, the bear quickly cut to the left, following the dog into the woods. The men had no idea what to make of the whole situation. Was their dog going to be okay? Were they going to be okay? Would the bear make its way back onto the road? The men stood there for few seconds, still in shock from their close call. They knew that, no matter what, they couldn’t leave their dog behind.
Pushing His Luck
The guys then began calling for the dog to return to their car so they could drive off before they faced any more close calls. After a few seconds, the dog appears from within the forest. After a brief glance to let his friends know he was okay, he turned around to face the woods. At this point, it was pretty clear that the men just wanted to leave. However, their mischievous dog had other plans in mind…
Before the men had time to think about what they could do to bring their friend to the car, the dog bolted back into the woods. Apparently, he had some unfinished business with the bear. The cameramen, while happy to be out of harm’s way, couldn’t help but wonder if the dog would once again lure the giant bear out of the woods. Would they get lucky again? Or would their good fortune finally run out?
More To The Story
This is where the video cuts out. The viewer is left wondering what will become of the dog, the bear, and the humans standing on the side of the road. We can assume that the men survived the ordeal because they were able to upload the video online. Regardless, so many questions are still left unanswered. Why did the dog go back into the woods after escaping the bear? Perhaps there was more to the story than meets the eye…
A Surprising Revelation
When the average person watches this video, they assume that the dog, as well as the men, are in an extremely dangerous situation and that everyone involved miraculously escaped a life-threatening scenario involving a dangerous bear. While it may be true that we never know what could happen when wild animals are involved, further examination of the footage from Finland leads us to a surprising revelation- the dog and the bear were playing a game together the entire time.
Playtime Or Aggression?
Over 3 million people have watched the video since it was uploaded, and many offered their input. “As an old dog trainer, I can spot that the dog is in play mode, and so is the bear,” said one commenter. “They’re mates playing.” The subtle differences between aggressive body language and “playtime” body language may be difficult to spot, but if you watch the video again, you’ll notice that both the dog and the bear are excited rather than angry.
The Adrenaline Was Flowing
After a second look at the wild bear encounter, it’s easy to say that the playful energy between the two animals was obvious. But if you put yourself in the men’s’ shoes for just a second, it’s not hard to see how they confused the bear’s excitement for an act of aggression or anger. With so much adrenaline flowing, it can be difficult to read body language and pick up on the nuances of animal behavior.
Bears Have Fun Too
If might be difficult to spot the differences between a bear interested in playtime and a bear looking for a fight, but just a little bit of research can make all the difference. Like most mammals, bears engage in social activities like playing. Playtime for bears is characterized by a quiet series of gentle back-and-forth biting. If the bear was agitated, it would be much louder and the biting would be much more aggressive.
Let The Pups Play!
With canines, it’s pretty easy to spot the differences between a pup looking to make a new friend and an agitated dog. Usually, you can spot the differences in the postures and styles of movement. Doggy playtime is characterized by the “play bow,” where the dog lowers its head, sticks its rear end in the air, and wags its tail. If a dog is angry you’ll see stiff, staccato-like movements, along with brief freezes and intensified barking and growling.
Surprisingly, this isn’t the only video that has been uploaded onto the internet showing dogs playing with bears. As a matter of fact, lots of dogs all over the world forge unlikely friendships with wild animals. A quick search on Google or Youtube will reveal countless videos of grizzly bears, polar bears, brown bears, and black bears making canine friends. That being said, if you encounter a wild animal while walking your dog, it’s always best to play it safe.
Follow The Protocol
If you ever find yourself in the same scenario as these men, it’s very important to follow a specific protocol. First, make your presence known to the bear by speaking in a calm and relaxed tone. The last thing you want to do in this situation is sneak up on or frighten the bear. Next, try to slowly back away while simultaneously paying close attention to how the bear is responding to your behavior.
Arm Yourself With Knowledge
If the bear continues to mind its own business, walk backward at a slow pace. If you try to run away at this point, the bear will not respond well. Most importantly, carry bear spray. If a bear is noticeably agitated and tries to charge or lunge at you, this will come in handy. At the end of the day, nothing will defend you from a bear attack more than knowledge, so make sure to do some research on the local wildlife!
Hold Your Ground
If you think running away is your best chance at survival, guess again. Despite the fact that the average grizzly bear weighs upwards of 550 lbs, the wild animal can reach a top speed of 35 miles per hour. Even world record Olympic sprinters can’t keep up with that! Additionally, running away makes you appear as prey to the bear. It will only entice an attack. You’re better off holding your ground, making yourself big, and trying to scare off the bear.