GLACIER NAT'L PARK - Terrifying moments caught on camera when a 650-pound Grizzly Bear charged at a group of hikers with a baby on their back at Glacier National Park this weekend.
"I happened to catch the grizzly from the corner of my eye just coming out of the trees onto this meadow. Then we realized there were people below coming up not knowing, having no clue that there's a grizzly coming up."
The man who took the video, wildlife photographer Dulé Krivdich, was hiking on a switchback near Hidden Lake Sunday afternoon when he noticed the bear coming close to people on a switchback below.
"When it's happening it was real. We were telling the people 'You need to start making noise'. They were asking 'What do we do.'
You can hear his wife in the video advising the hikers 'Don't run!'
"There was a moment where we saw that bear charge right down towards them right when it took the first whiff of them. Little scary," said Krivdich.
"They ran and I think that's when the bear did that extra little buff charge towards them. The bear didn't want any trouble anyway, the bear was not initially aggressive. The scary part was there was a 1 year old infant on the back of a guy's carrier. He actually slowed down and stopped when the bear did the bluff charge, and he waived his arms up, he kid of made himself look bigger and the bear actually stopped at that point so who knows, that may have been the saving grace moment."
Krivdich says the hikers had bear spray but froze in the moment, shouting for help and eventually running away. The bear did not follow them.
Dillon Tabish, a Regional Information and Education Manager with Montana's Fish, Wildlife and Parks says a surprise encounter with a bear can happen to anyone while exploring Glacier National Park, but there are some simple tips to safely get out of that situation.
"Any time folks are out hiking or camping or just recreating outdoors they need to be aware they are in bear country and there's some really important precautionary steps folks need to take to be safe and that means carrying bear spray first and foremost. Make sure they know how to use it and make sure it's in a place that's easily accessible," explained Tabish.
He adds, "It's not uncommon to have a surprising situation like that kind of freeze you in your steps and that's okay, you just want to get that bear spray out. It's just really important to stay calm, stay in a group, make a little bit of noise and slowly move away from that situation."
F.W.P. has information on their website on how you and your family can stay bear aware this hunting season.