February 19, 2009

Man uses shovel, rifle to scare off bear

A man in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada's easternmost province, said he had to hit a polar bear with a shovel and shoot it twice to drive it away.

Ed Dyson said he spotted the polar bear from his back porch in Black Tickle shortly before it grabbed his small dog and threw it into the air, Canwest News Service reported Thursday.

When the dog landed, he ran under the (porch) and the bear tried to get at him ... so then I had a smack at him with the shovel. But that didn't stop him much, Dyson said.

He said he retrieved his rifle and tried to scare the bear away by firing a shot into the ground, but the animal was not phased.

He just more or less looked at me, so I fired at him again, and that time I nicked him, Dyson said.

He shot the bear a third time, hitting it in the side, before the animal finally turned to leave.

Dyson, who said his dog was not seriously injured, said it is not uncommon to see bears in the area, but they usually avoid human contact.

I've seen bears before -- but not a bear so close as that. If I had a mind to reach down I could have put my hand on it, he said.