‘You don’t have to do this:’ Prince George man tells black bear as it tries to drown him

‘You don’t have to do this:’ Prince George man tells black bear as it tries to drown him

Brandon Lattie survived the incident with help from a passerby and her dog

A 27-year-old man from Prince George is recovering at home after a black bear chased him and tried to drown him in a lake on the outskirts of the city.

Brandon Lattie says the fact that he survived a black bear attack is just starting to set in two days after the incident, which left him with scratches and puncture wounds.

“It just happened so quick. He was holding me down — I didn’t really feel anything, there was so much adrenaline — I just wanted to stay alive,” Lattie recalled Friday afternoon, still reeling from the experience.

“After the bear struck me, it was trying to hold me under water. I immediately thought for sure this is where I’m going to die.”

It was the first time Lattie and a buddy were exploring the trails around Ferguson Lake Nature Preserve, a small lake on the north eastern edge of the city, Wednesday evening when three quarters of the way through their walk they encountered the ‘huge black bear’ on the trail.

READ MORE: Bear chases man into lake near Prince George, tries to swim after him

Lattie said they both took off when they came across the bear, and he tried hiding at first but then decided to run too.

“I kept looking back and decided to truck through the terrain. I don’t know if that was the best move I could have made, but it’s all I thought about at that time,” Lattie said.

“I almost got stuck in the swampy area, and the bear was on my back. I jumped into water with no game plan, no real idea on what to do.”

With his shoes stuck in the muddy lake bottom and the bear on top of him, Lattie said he felt like he was drowning.

“After it tried to push me under water, I was about a foot from the surface fighting for my life basically and was able to push from the ground back for air, the bear looked startled when I turned around and looked it dead in the face. I tried talking to it at first saying that ‘you don’t have to do this.’”

Frantic, Lattie said he swam away from the bear toward the middle of the lake with the animal swimming after him.

“I was scared, I don’t know what I was thinking but I managed to swim all the way from the west side of Ferguson Lake to the docks. My emotions were so high.”

What Lattie didn’t realize at the time was that Alana Bull had just arrived on the other side of the lake to walk the trails with her children and their Husky-Shepherd cross dog Musket, and heard Lattie’s screams for help.

In a social media post, Bull said her friend called 9-1-1 and she left her boys with her as she ran her dog down the trail as fast as they could.

“I knew he would distract the bear from a safe distance and hopefully [Brandon Lattie] could get away. During this time the bear made contact with [him] in the water and tried to push him under. When we got to the other side, Musket caught scent and sight of the bear and started barking ferociously,” she said, noting the plan worked and the bear started to turn and swim away.

READ MORE: Cougar sighted several times in Williams Lake Westridge, Woodland Drive area

“I’m so proud of my dog. The man was able to swim to us at the dock. I was ready to jump in if needed but he was able to make it on his own. Police, fire, ambulance and conservation arrived shortly after … thankful to God for watching out for everyone and for us being there when we were.”

RCMP, firefighters and the Conservation Officer Service attended the scene and the bear was later trapped and destroyed as it showed a high degree of habituation toward humans.

Lattie’s mother, Laurel, said she is in awe that her son managed to get away from the bear, and how far he swam. She’s also very thankful to Alana Bull and hopes she to meet her one day soon.

“How do you thank someone for saving you son’s life?” she questioned. “We’re planning on getting the dog lots of treats.”

Looking back, Lattie believes a higher power was looking over him that night and he’s thankful to Bull for helping him in his time of need.

“I’m just glad to be alive.”


Do you have a comment about this story? email:
editor@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Summerland Middle School
COVID exposure at Summerland Middle School

The person who tested positive was at school Jan. 11

Justin Kripps of Summerland and his team have competed in Olympic action and World Cup competitions in bobsleigh. (Jason Ransom-Canadian Olympic Comittee).
QUIZ: Are you ready for some winter sports?

It’s cold outside, but there are plenty of recreation opportunities in the winter months

A map released by the BCCDC on Jan. 15 shows the number of new COVID-19 cases reported for each local health area between Jan. 3 and 9. (BCCDC Image)
Salmon Arm and Vernon see increase in new COVID cases, curve flattening elsewhere

The rate of new cases is levelling off in Kelowna, Penticton and Revelstoke.

The Premier Hotel on Summerland’s Main Street and the taxi were owned by Bill and Lydia Johnston. Today, the building is Sass Fashions in Summerland. H.S. Kenyon, who moved the building to Summerland from Midway, continued with building construction. His family now operates Greyback Construction. (Photo courtesy of the Summerland Museum)
Two former Summerland hotel buildings have been moved over the years

Transport of buildings is part of community’s history

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

Dastkar, a new furniture store in Vernon, features handmade, unique furniture carved from wood and inlaid with brass in the Chiniot style. The business located on 43rd Avenue was started in December 2020 but is currently unstaffed due to COVID-19 staffing shortages. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
PHOTOS: Vernon’s hidden handmade furniture store

Owners of Shahi Pakwan Indian restaurant opened the South Asian furniture store in December 2020

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

The organizer of a Kelowna protest against COVID-19 restrictions was fined by the RCMP for the third time Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (File photo)
COVID-19: Organizer of Kelowna anti-restriction protest ticketed for third time

The individual’s latest ticket for $2,300 was handed out by RCMP at an anti-lockdown rally Saturday

Mount Boucherie Secondary School is one of three Kelowna schools with confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to an update from the school district Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (File photo)
COVID-19 confirmed at 3 Kelowna schools

Interior Health has confirmed exposures at Mount Boucherie, Springvalley and South Rutland schools

Half of the most expensive homes are on 2080 Mackenzie Crt, which is across the street from Revelstoke Mountain Resort. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
The 10 most valuable homes in Revelstoke for 2020

Combined, the properties are worth more than $35M

Lake Country native Evan-Riley Brown is in the cast for the new film Journey To Royal: A WW II Rescue Mission to be released on video on demand and streaming services on Feb. 2. (Contributed)
Okanagan actor lands role in WW II movie

Evan-Riley Brown, from Lake Country, cast in production labelled as hybrid of a feature film and documentary called Journey To Royal: a WW II Rescue Mission.

Most Read