The uncle of a Canadian man who was mauled to death by a grizzly last week alongside his partner in Alberta’s popular Banff National Park has revealed that he received a final message from the couple.
Colin Inglis told the Calgary Herald he received the SOS call from Doug Inglis and Jenny Gusse’s Garmin GPS device around 8:15 p.m. last Friday after hearing hours earlier that they were delayed in reaching a camping location in the Panther Valley area of the park.
“Bear attack bad.” was the message Inglis recalled getting in a call from the couple’s Garmin inReach device. “The alarm bells were going off, ‘this is not good’ — that means there’d been some engagement. You’re completely helpless to know what’s going on.”
Inglis also said he was told by Parks Canada officials that the tent the couple was using “was crushed and their e-readers were open” at the scene of the attack, where their 7-year-old border collie Tris died as well.
“One can of bear spray had been fully discharged, but this bear was not to be deterred,” he reportedly added.
I am not disparaging OC sprays. I carry one can every day because I believe situations can present where this will be an appropriate defensive tool to use. But you cannot have only one defensive tool at your disposal, or you are limited to its “potency” which might be insufficient to the threat you are facing.
I am sure you have seen videos where police deploy Less Lethal weaponry, but there is always one or more officers with lethal means in hand and aimed at a suspect as back up. We must apply the same idea: Use the Less Lethal if you deem is needed and resolves the situation, but ready to use the firearm if things do not de-escalate and your initial assessment turns out to be wrong.
To coin a phrase: “Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.”