Alaska News

Video: Woman thanks Alaska bear for not eating kayak; bear promptly eats kayak

A woman on a 107-mile kayak journey from Ketchikan to Petersburg said she had to hitch a ride to Wrangell on a sailboat after a bear ate her kayak near a public-use cabin in Southeast Alaska.

Mary Maley posted a video of the encounter to YouTube late Tuesday. In the post, Maley says she was outside a U.S. Forest Service cabin in Berg Bay, 22 miles southeast of Wrangell, when the bear approached.

The U.S. Forest Service office in Wrangell said Wednesday morning that it had not heard of the encounter, but confirmed the video was taken from its Berg Bay cabin.

At the beginning of the video, Maley is heard thanking the bear for "not eating my kayak," before the animal turns around to do just that.

Over the next two minutes, Maley yells repeatedly at the bear, tries to bargains with it and pepper sprays it.

"Please stop, bear," she pleads at one point. "It's September, why are you here? You're supposed to be asleep."

For its part, the bear continues to gnaw on the sea kayak lying on the ground outside the cabin.


"Bear, please stop breaking my things. It's not even food, it's doesn't even taste good -- it's just plastic," Maley says.

Maley wrote in the video description that the entire encounter went on for nearly 20 minutes before the bruin left the area.

In the YouTube post, Maley claimed she had to swim out to a nearby sailing vessel, the Caledonia, and was given a ride back to Wrangell so she could repair her kayak -- her only means of transportation on her journey.

Numerous messages left around Wrangell in hopes of contacting Maley were not returned Wednesday morning.

It's not the first incident of bear-on-vehicle violence in the Last Frontier -- back in 2009, a bear tore into a plane parked in Southwest Alaska.

Sean Doogan

Sean Doogan is a former reporter for Alaska Dispatch and Alaska Dispatch News.