Watch calm NJ hiker walk away from a bear
A hiker from New Jersey is being called the “Calm Queen” after video of her bear encounter in Sussex County went viral. The woman, identified by the Daily Voice as 25-year-old Monmouth County resident Julia Tupy, is alerted to the bear approaching them by a companion who calmly says, “I think we should move.”
The two didn't panic, but instead gently climbed down from the rock before slowly making their way back down the trail. No sudden movements, no running, just gingerly moving away from the black bear.
Tupy told the Daily Voice, “Bears tend to get startled if you start running," adding "their instinct is to want to run after you." Her hiking companion (the man who took the video) Jon Kun, said, “as long as you have the right reaction and stay calm, everyone can come out ok without any problems." As they made their way down the trail, they warned other hikers about the presence of the bear. The hiking trail is along a lookout called “Stairway to Heaven” in Vernon. Even though she remained calm, Tupy was scared. She told the Daily Voice, "We do go hiking a lot but I guess you don’t really realize what you’re capable of or how to handle things until you’re in the situation."
The US National Park Service recommends: If the bear is stationary, move away slowly and sideways. This allows you to keep an eye on the bear and avoid tripping. Moving sideways is also non-threatening to bears. Do NOT run, but if the bear follows, stop and hold your ground. Bears can run as fast as a racehorse both uphill and down. Like dogs, they will chase ﬂeeing animals. Do NOT climb a tree. Both grizzlies and black bears can climb trees.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.