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'I hope I reacted the way anybody would': Prince George woman and her dog help rescue man from bear attack in local lake

A bear tried to push a man underwater after chasing him in Ferguson Lake
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Alana Bull and her family had an extremely different experience on their walk at Ferguson Lake. (via Facebook/Alana Bull)

Alana Bull and her family went for a walk at Ferguson Lake last night (Sept. 4), as they often do, but this time turned into an experience they'll never forget. 

"We got there at about 5:45 or just before six," she tells PrinceGeorgeMatters. "When we got there, we heard someone yelling." 

She says the sound echoed throughout the park, with a man yelling for help.

Another person was on the dock who asked Bull and her family if they had binoculars.

"We didn't but we looked and saw the man in the lake with the bear pursuing him," she says. "He [the bear] was probably only six to 10 feet away from him at that point."

Bull told her mother-in-law to call 9-1-1 and told her kids to stay with her while she took their dog down one of the trails. 

"I had my dog with me," she says. "He's a big husky shepherd, a hundred-something pounds. He hates bears and he's gone after them before so I knew he'd be good." 

She says she ran as fast as she could with her dog Musket down a trail and got to the other side of the lake as fast as they could, hoping they could get closer to the man and have the dog distract the bear. 

While they were taking off on the trail, the bear caught up to the man and was trying to push him under the water but the dog would do his job.

"He [Musket] did that," Bull adds. "As soon as we got close, he picked up the scent and started barking." 

The bear started going back and forth, eventually swimming back to the shore and leaving the man alone.

The man in the water was able to swim his way across the lake, back to the dock to get out. 

"The dog and I, of course, booked it out of there, because I didn't want to be near there either," Bull says.

She says the man did suffer some wounds including paw marks and puncture wounds on his left shoulder where the bear had attacked him and tried to push him under the water.

He also sustained some scratches on his hips and legs. 

Bull says she and the man spoke this morning (Sept. 5). He's understandably shaken up but luckily, he sustained no serious injuries from the harrowing experience. 

Once conservation arrived, she says they told her that it's extremely rare for a bear to take someone into the water.

Since then, she says she's been informed the bear has been dealt with and will no longer be an issue in the area. 

The man had been walking with a friend on the trails, when the bear pursued them, which is why he ended up in the water. 

"At that time, your adrenaline is going so fast and you just kind of react," Bull says. "I hope I reacted the way anybody would and try to help how you can. Your brain just kicks into gear and you do what you feel you need to do. I didn't panic or anything like that, I just did what I thought I should do." 




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Jess Fedigan

About the Author: Jess Fedigan

Jess Fedigan graduated from BCIT’s broadcast and online journalism program in 2016. Her career (so far) has taken her to Fort St. John, Victoria and now Prince George.
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