On the afternoon of July 12, Alyson Jones-Robinson, of North Pole, Alaska, was hiking with her two nieces when the three encountered a hostile young Grizzly Bear.
According to the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, 43-year-old Jones-Robinson and her 13 and 9-year-old nieces were traveling along the Granite Tors Trail, east of Fairbanks in the Chena River State Recreation Area, when the encounter took place. Jones-Robinson guesses that the bear was about two years old and weighed 100 to 200 pounds, but it was acting very aggressively toward the group.
In an interview with the News-Miner, Jones-Robinson recounts:
It was a very surreal experience, all I could think about was this bear is so close to me I can see its teeth. I could have kissed it. I wished I had a gun... It was kind of trotting around me, and then it would charge and growl. It charged, and I used my bear spray when it was about four feet away and then I fell with my pack on and dropped the bear spray.
Jones-Robinson was able to get into her bag, but the only thing she could grab in time was a bottle of natural bug repellent. The bear came near again:
I hit it over the head and held out my bug spray... I hit it like three or four times… It knew I had something in my hand that would spray it, (and) I think that’s what kept it from coming any closer.
Eventually Jones-Robinson and her nieces were able to get away from the bear, which continued to follow them for a while. The trail, however, remains open. Troopers have posted warning signs in the area, but no immediate action has taken place.
To read more about the hair-raising encounter visit Tim Mowry's report for the Fairbanks Daily News Miner.