Man awakes from dream to find bear

Aug. 25, 2012 at 1:02 PM
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TWO HARBORS, Minn., Aug. 25 (UPI) -- A Minneapolis man says he awoke from a nap in a park in northern Minnesota face-to-face with a bear.

John Steitz, 26, and his hiking partner, Samuel Roberts, 25, also of Minneapolis, started hiking along the Superior Hiking Trail around 5:30 a.m. Tuesday, the Duluth (Minn.) News Tribune reported.

The pair stopped to rest at a camp site at some point in the afternoon, Steitz said.

"I was just on top of my sleeping bag, in the shade by Penn Creek," Steitz said. "In my dream, I was playing with a dog. The dog was jumping on me, scratching me, licking my face -- the playful puppy thing."

Steitz said he then woke up from his dream to find a very real black bear on top of him.

"I opened my eyes, and there was a bear on top of me with its face in my face," Steitz said. "I kind of opened my eyes and gave a, 'What-the-expletive?'"

Steitz said he sat up and the bear moved back about five feet. He then woke up Roberts and the two began banging on pans with a hatchet and the bear moved further away.

"He didn't turn around and bolt," Steitz said. "He walked slowly and stopped every few feet to look back."

The hikers notified Bob Kirsch, area wildlife manager for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources at Two Harbors, of the incident.

"[The bear was] probably it was curious," Kirsch said. "It saw something it didn't quite understand and took a couple pokes at him. Sometimes they're sort of curious."

Although he is unsure of exactly what the bear did to him while he was asleep, Steitz said the bear left no marks on him.

"Not a scratch," he said.

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