8-Year-Old Boy Saved from 700lb Bear by Brave Guide Horse

boy-saved-from-bear-by-horseBear encounters are not exactly rare in some national parks. In fact, even when people come face-to-face with the ‘grizzly’ character and know how to react to the situation, panic often sets in, leading to a more dangerous and even deadly scenario. In 2011, Erin Bolster, a 25-year-old horseback guide, was giving a tour to horseback riders in Glacier National Park, when something unexpected occurred.  As they approached a bend in the trail, her horse, Tonk, came to a complete stop. They witnessed a deer running towards them, and then noticed that a 700lb Grizzly was chasing after the deer. All of the horses besides Bolster’s turned and ran, with the deer running alongside the horses. To make matters even more terrifying, the group of riders had an 8-year-old boy who was riding a horse for the first time in his life. It just so happened that the boy’s horse, Scout, broke off from the pack and ran a different direction into the woods, the bear noticed that he had isolated some prey and took off after the pair. The boy’s father was an experienced rider but was unable to convince his horse to turn around to chase after a bear. However, Bolster was able to turn Tonk around and chase after them. Bolster realized that she had to break the bear’s focus from the boy and Scout. She succeeded, and the bear responded by charging at her and Tonk. Surprisingly, Tonk stood his ground and obeyed the command to charge the bear head-on. According to Bolster, they came within 10 feet from the bear before they were able to scare it and make it run the other direction. She was able to rejoin the group with the boy and Scout safely in tow. Erin was so impressed and pleased with Tonk for saving her and her group’s lives that day that she decided to buy the horse from the company she worked for.