Joanne Barnaby (pictured on the left) is making headlines for her story of survival involving mushrooms, a wolf, a mama bear and her cub, mosquitoes and a can of beer.
Last week Barnaby and her friend Tammy Caudron got separated while picking mushrooms near Fort Smith, a remote area in the South Slave Region of the Northwest Territories, Canada. Barnaby and her dog Joey were on the way back to her truck when she head a growl and spotted a very thin wolf behind her.
She told CBC News: “There was a long, tall, very, very skinny wolf. A black wolf. And his legs were spread and his hair was standing, and he was growling, and baring his teeth.”
The dog charged the wolf, who didn’t budge. Barnaby knew that if the wolf attacked her dog, she’d be next.
The wolf paced back and forth and wouldn’t let Barnaby near her truck. Instead, she was forced to walk east away from the highway. She realized the wolf was trying to separate her from the dog because he was so weak and unhealthy and likely unable to kill them both at the same time.
Barnaby and her dog wound up evading the wolf for an incredible 12 hours. During that time, she became dehydrated, her legs hurt, and she was plagued with mosquito bites.
At approximately 4:30 a.m. and completely exhausted, Barnaby heard a sound that most people would find terrifying. A mama bear was calling out to her cub.
Barnaby explained, “I realized that there was a chance that the mother bear would tackle the wolf if she felt that the wolf was a threat. So I made the choice of walking towards the cub.”
The action saved her life. After about 20 minutes she heard a crash behind her as the mama bear and wolf clashed. She took the opportunity to escape and found a lake. Using a beer can she had carried with her, she drank a lot of water and thought about her loved ones.
“All night I had been making decisions of sorts, but this one was a decision to live and it was really powerful,” she revealed.
That morning, she found the highway and less than a mile away a local RCMP officer and a Parks Canada worker who helped her out.
Her one regret? Not being armed. “Don’t do what I did. Don’t go without your gun,” she said in retrospect. “Anything can happen. If I had had that gun, it would’ve been a very short situation.”