A woman in Alaska on a 107-mile journey over water from Ketchikan to Petersburg said she had to hitch a ride on a sailboat – after a bear ate her kayak!
Mary Maley posted a video of the encounter to YouTube late Tuesday. In the post, Maley claims she was outside a public use cabin in Berg Bay, 22 miles southeast of Wrangell, when the bear approached.
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“I heard something outside as I ate my lunch, and well, I never got to go on that hike,” Maley wrote in the video’s description.
The U.S. Forest Service office in Wrangell said Wednesday morning that it had not received a report 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.
“Bear, please stop breaking my things. It’s not even food, it’s doesn’t even taste good — it’s just plastic,” Maley begs.
Over the next two minutes, Maley yells repeatedly at the bear, tries to bargains with it and pepper sprays it.
For its part, the bear continues to gnaw on the sea kayak lying on the ground outside the cabin. At one point, Maley reminds the bear that it’s the end of September. “You’re supposed to be asleep,” she says.
Maley’s constant pleas to the bear might sound unreasonable as the animal is very unlikely to know what’s she’s talking about, but they’re at least understandable, since that kayak was her only way out of Berg Bay.
After the bear left, Maley claims she had to swim to a German-flagged sailing vessel, the Caledonia, which gave her a ride to nearby Wrangell, where she’s trying to repair her kayak.
Maley wrote in the You Tube video description that the entire encounter went on for nearly 20 minutes before the bruin left the area.
There are bear tales by the thousands in the Last Frontier, and this is far from the first incident of bear-on-vehicle violence.
Back in 2009, when bush pilot Luke Miller, 28, made an overnight stop at a friend’s hunting lodge in Southwest Alaska, he had no way to know that a large and very dedicated menace would, under cover of night, chew and claw his plane to shreds.
After a few days of meticulous fix-it work, the plane was airworthy enough to fly back to Anchorage. Miller fitted the windows with plywood and Plexiglas, replaced the tires and the horizontal stabilizer (the bear either leaned on it or sat on it), and, according to Miller’s dad, fashioned a makeshift fabric skin out of 25 rolls of duct tape and some industrial-strength plastic wrap.