Man repels bear by wielding old computer

Apparently bears in Russia aren't too fond of outdated technology, which is fortunate for a man who met one while salvaging metal from a scrap heap.

Michael Franco
Freelancer Michael Franco writes about the serious and silly sides of science and technology for CNET and other pixel and paper pubs. He's kept his fingers on the keyboard while owning a B&B in Amish country, managing an eco-resort in the Caribbean, sweating in Singapore, and rehydrating (with beer, of course) in Prague. E-mail Michael.
Michael Franco
2 min read

Not exacty a friendly face. Getty Images

Finally, a use for your old IBM PS2: fending off bears!

A Siberian man was rummaging through a trash heap for non-ferrous metals on Saturday when he was rushed by a bear, the Moscow Times reports. To fend off the animal, he picked up an old computer from the heap and heaved it at the beast. The bear must have been a technophile, because the sight of the ancient machine was enough to scare him away.

OK, OK, it probably wasn't the bear's distaste for the original Windows operating system that spooked the critter. It was the sight of a large hunk of something coming his way. Regardless, the villager was spared a shredded arm or gouged torso, though he did apparently hurt his hand when he threw the computer. Too bad it wasn't an iPad Air.

The Moscow Times reports that this isn't the first time a piece of tech has aided a Russian citizen in escaping a bear attack. "In July, a man in the eastern Sakha republic had an extremely lucky escape after his phone turned on as he was being mauled by a bear," according to the newspaper. "The phone's startup noise was enough to frighten away the beast, and the man, who had sustained a bite wound to his head, escaped with his life."

Canadians have also had some luck battling bears with smartphones. As we reported last year, a Manitoba man was able to fend off a bear by turning on his cell phone and showing the bear its lit-up screen. Probably the bear was disgusted that the man hadn't yet upgraded to the latest iPhone, which apparently can be almost as dangerous as a bear attack.

(Via BetaBeat)