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Jack Hanna and wife thank fans for support after bear incident

07/28/2010 by Corinne Heller

Jack Hanna and wife thank fans for support after bear incident (Photos courtesy of Jack Hanna's Facebook page) Jack Hanna, an animal expert, TV host and director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo, and his wife thanked fans for support after it was reported they had survived a possible attack by a grizzly bear by spraying it with a whole canister of pepper spray.

"Sue and I want to thank everyone for the notes, support, and concern! You all are the best!" Hanna, whose nickname is "Jungle Jack," wrote on his Twitter page on Wednesday.

Hanna, 63, his wife had on Saturday hiked on a narrow trail in Glacier National Park in the northwestern United States, with a cliff on one side of them and a drop-off on the other. They spotted a mother mother grizzly bear and two large cubs about 30 feet ahead, heading their direction. Hanna posted photos on them on his Facebook page.

The couple and several other nearby hikers, including a 10-year-old boy, backed up slowly as the bears made their way toward them. Hanna told everyone to head toward a clearing off the trail, crawl up a hill and put their backs against the wall, the Columbus Dispatch reported.

You can't do anything with a grizzly; they can run a football field in seconds," the newspaper quoted Hanna as saying. "There's no way I could hit that bear with a gun."

The mother bear and one cub passed them, but the second cub, which Hanna estimated to have weighed 125 pounds, began to run toward the hikers. Hanna then held up a canister of pepper spray as the animal approached.

"At about 30 feet I unload my pepper spray, and the wind takes it," Hanna said. "Then I unload the second spray. Then the third time I unload that pepper spray right in his face."

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