Bear ambushes hiker, attacks her iPhone instead

In a panic, hiker Kris Rowley threw her iPhone at an approaching bear. That turned out to be all she needed to get away--but then Apple made her pay full price for a replacement.

Flickr user Kyle Simourd

Bears have some awfully funny inclinations. Back in 2004 there were all those wackynews stories about the bear who'd downed three dozen cans of beer at a campground and proceeded to pass out.

But this one takes the cake: this summer, when Vermont hiker Kris Rowley was approached by a bear and it kept following her, it proved more interested in chowing down on her iPhone.

Rowley, who serves as Vermont's chief information security officer, tells "In a semi-panic, I threw the phone at the bear."

The bear proceeded to ignore Rowley and started clawing at the iPhone instead, explains. Rowley used that as her chance to make a hasty exit. She returned two days later to get her iPhone back--bringing along a baseball bat for defense--and found it still there, but chewed and scratched up to the point where she couldn't use it anymore.

Unfortunately, the Genius Bar support team at her local Apple Store wouldn't take "a bear ate my iPhone" as a legitimate excuse to get a new one on the house: Rowley had to pay full price for a replacement.

Maybe that would've been different if she'd brought the bear along with her. Just a thought.

About the author

Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.


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