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Brave dad chases bear away from curious kids

The Local · 29 May 2012, 14:34

Published: 29 May 2012 14:34 GMT+02:00

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The man was standing in his kitchen in his house in Aareavaara when his daughter came running in, screaming that there was a bear in the garden, wrote daily Aftonbladet.

“I saw in her eyes that she was completely serious. We ran out and I saw my other two daughters and their friend. The closest girl was just three metres from the bear,” said Bengt-Göran Niska, 43, to the paper.

The man claims that the fully grown brown bear was standing by a playhouse and had its eyes on the girls.

“I went towards it and yelled from the bottom of my lungs. The bear stood up and looked at me. I yelled again and the bear started walking on its back legs,” Niska told Aftonbladet.

The man continued to yell at the bear until it turned and moved into the woods.

Amppa Högman, who lives in the house next door, saw the bear as it walked away and took the picture.

"It's so frightening for us, but a little exciting too. I didn't see when Bengt-Göran scared the bear away, but when I saw the bear walking past our house I grabbed the camera and took the picture," she told The Local.

"Now everyone is on the look-out. We're checking over our shoulders and peeping around the corners. This is something I've never heard of in our village.

"Luckily the girls are alright, though they're still a little shocked," she said.

The girls, aged six, eight, and nine, stood completely still throughout the ordeal, and allegedly did not even realize it was a real bear until afterwards, initially believing it was a human wearing a bear costume, wrote the paper.

“They became truly scared when they understood that it was an actual bear. The two older girls really got the chills but the younger one still doesn’t understand the severity of the situation,” Niska told the paper.

The family lives on the edge of the woods, and all the family members have since had trouble sleeping. Niska himself acknowledges that he’s lucky to be alive.

Story continues below…

“I don’t know if I did the right thing. I just thought about the girls, went on pure instinct and was full of adrenaline. In hindsight, it could have gone really bad,” he told the paper.

Oliver Gee

Follow Oliver on Twitter here.

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

14:37 May 29, 2012 by JulieLou40
So if the neighbour got a picture...where the hell is it??
15:18 May 29, 2012 by rise


Mr Niska, this was nothing less than fantastic of you!! One doesn't even want to imagine what could've happened to the girls otherwise! But still, it could've been lethal for all of you - a bear is no small, cute little pet... :O
15:44 May 29, 2012 by strixy
Human invades nature. Do you expect animals to just move out?
19:05 May 29, 2012 by johan rebel
Next, courageous dad needs to teach his kids some bush sense.
19:34 May 29, 2012 by gpafledthis
Brave ?? Hell no !! Brave would be to face moma/wife WITHOUT the kiddies !!
21:24 May 29, 2012 by bcterry
14:37 May 29, 2012 by JulieLou40

So if the neighbour got a picture...where the hell is it?? "

What's that at the top of the page?
22:54 May 29, 2012 by SimonDMontfort
...'lock up your daughters!!'
23:34 May 29, 2012 by strixy
and fence your garden maybe? how are animals supposed to know they should not go there?
01:44 May 30, 2012 by mcarroll1
If you go down to the woods today you're sure of a big suprise ... aahh you ruined the teddy bear's picnic,
08:47 May 30, 2012 by karex
#8 a fence won't hold back a determined bear. There are cases of mountain cabins in Colorado and other places - sturdy structures, with locked doors which are ripped open like a can of sardines. When a bear wants to get in - it will. Especially if it's after food, or trying to protect its young.
13:20 May 31, 2012 by rise

I agree. People may think they'd be safe inside a caravan. But they would not be. Not without having a rifle inside it as well.

And that's why I reacted such strongly in my first post...
23:40 June 5, 2012 by bethrichardson
I grew up in Alaska with bears and moose nearby and I've always admired mother bears for the way they will face any danger to protect their cubs. Calling someone a "mother bear" is a compliment, that they will do anything for their kids well-being. Now here we have a father with "mother bear" instincts standing up to a real bear. Oh, the irony!
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