Amazing Dad Fights Off Bear With His Own Hands & Saves 3 Children


brown bearI don't think many people would live to tell about the time they got in a fist fight with a brown bear, but dad Toby Burke has defied the odds. While on a bird-watching hike along the Alaskan Kasilof River Beach with his wife, 11-year-old daughter, 8-year-old son, and 7-month old infant, he and his family were approached by the determined animal in an extremely threatening way.

They raised their arms and made as much noise as possible to scare the bear away, but it kept coming, then bounded right for them.

Toby yelled at his wife and kids to get behind him, and he grabbed his camera's six-foot tripod and shoved it in the bear's mouth as it lunged toward him. It swatted the camera stand away, severing the end, which Toby then used to stab the bear's nose.

The bear eventually knocked that out of Toby's hand, and all he had left between the bear and his family was his body. He shoved his left arm into the animal's mouth and started punching it in the face with his right arm.

After several minutes, the bear gave up and ran away. Miraculously, Toby walked away only with deep bruises on his arm -- the thick jacket he was wearing protected him not only from the 30-degree temps, but the bear's bite, as well.

If you ask me, Toby's a hero, for sure, but certainly not an accidental one. He knew a visit from a bear in the Alaskan woods was a possibility, albeit a rare one, and was prepared. Well, prepared enough to know how to scare away any normal bear ... no one is likely prepared to go mano a mano with a furry beast that weighs a ton.

Regardless, it's a great reminder to take mother nature seriously. As parents, it's our job to make sure we know the potential danger of our children's surroundings and to have at least a cursory knowledge of how to protect them.

Had Toby not known what to do, the story could've been horrifyingly tragic.

The bear was determined mentally ill by authorities after it was spotted "erratically attacking" a car, a telephone poll, and a man on the beach, and was put to sleep.

Do you brush up on your outdoor skills before taking your kids into the woods?


Photo via katsrcool/Flickr

animals, accidents


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nonmember avatar caitlin

This story show a Dads amazing power to protect his family. Having just read our local Anchorage, Alaska newspaper it is a shame to hear that this bear was not ill but was discovered to be blind amd has been euthanized.

nonmember avatar Kristobell

Doing what a man is supposed to do, protect his family at all costs. It's great that he didn't get hurt, but I wouldn't go so far as to call him a hero. And euthanizing a 'mentally ill bear?' What ever that's supposed to mean, they murdered an animal doing what animals do....

jalaz77 jalaz77

Dang he lived to tell the story. So glad everyone is ok.

Rachel Abraham

He indeed did what any parent should have done but I still say he is a hero.  That must have been scary and he is lucky to be alive.  When wild animals prove to not be affraid to approach humans, they are sometimes put down.  It's sad but they could have saved someone from dying in the future.

Brandi Nelson

The man is a hero.. anyone who risks their life to save others is a hero i don't care if your related to the person or not. The bear was a threat to everyone there for had to be shot. Keep in mind they donate all the stuff to the homeless shelter etc.. that is if they eat bear meat. Why people see putting down an aggressive animal as bad is beyond me. I guess it takes one killing someone thy love.

Hollo... HollowLuna

This is AWESOME!!  How many people can honestly say "I beat up a bear"? Those kids are going to be so cocky to the first bully they meet lol

Austi... Austinsmommy12

Great story of survival and love. So glad it turned out for the best, as it could've been very tragic.

It's sad that the animal was subject to euthanasia, but if it saves the lives of this family, and countless others in the area, it's a necessary sacrifice.

...who edits these articles anyway? A telephone poll? Your/you're, there/their/they're, poll/POLE. Honest mistake, but someone should pay better attention to the editing of articles here.

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