Leonardo DiCaprio’s new film, “The Revenant,” a gritty wilderness epic directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, has generated pre-release buzz not just because it might be the film that nets DiCaprio that elusive Oscar but also because of the extreme conditions the actor endured to film it.
Yesterday, the buzz took a bizarre turn when a headline on The Drudge Report caught America’s eye: “DICAPRIO RAPED BY BEAR IN FOX MOVIE.” For a few hours the entire country ground to a halt as America tried to cope with the shocking news that the film features a scene in which DiCaprio gets raped by a wild brown bear:
The new movie ‘REVENANT’ features a shocking scene of a wild bear raping Leo DiCaprio!
The explicit moment from Oscar-winning director Alejandro Inarritu has caused maximum controversy in early screenings. Some in the audience escaped to the exits when the Wolf of Wall Street met the Grizzly of Yellowstone.
The story of rural survivalism and revenge reaches new violent levels for a mainstream film.
The bear flips Leo over and thrusts and thrusts during the explicit mauling.
‘He is raped—twice!’
Not to be outdone, DiCaprio rips open a horse and sleeps naked in its carcass!
Don’t worry, America, it’s not true. (But the horse carcass thing is supposedly true.) Within hours, multiple film critics including Mark Dujsik and Brian Abrams of Death and Taxes, who’d seen advance screenings of the film, denied that any such rape scene exists. Later, Fox confirmed there is no wild bear rape scene, telling Entertainment Weekly, “As anyone who has seen the movie can attest, the bear in the film is a female who attacks Hugh Glass because she feels he might be threatening her cubs.”
The episode triggered a minor Twitter joke-storm about DiCaprio and the bear, but also set some curious minds to wondering: do bears rape? The (New) New Republic assigned one intrepid reporter to find out if bears rape humans (they don’t), a question that was apparently on a lot people’s mind’s Tuesday morning—including Jeb Bush’s communications director, Tim Miller:
Are there any recorded examples of a bear raping a human in real life?
— Tim Miller (@Timodc) December 1, 2015
Getting Mauled Is Worse than Being Dry-Humped
The alleged bear-rape scene in “The Revenant” is actually a mauling, a fate that in real life is far worse than being dry-humped by a female bear. The entire DiCaprio bear rape rumor apparently started with Hollywood journalist Roger Friedman, who wrote of the mauling scene: “The bear flips [DiCaprio’s character] over on his belly and molests him—dry humps him actually—as he nearly devours him.”
Most people don’t realize just how violent and bloodthirsty bears can be. People are killed by bears every year in America. It’s not even uncommon for tourists at Yellowstone National Park to get mauled by brown bears. Sometimes they get eaten. In August, the body of a 63-year-old man was found “partially consumed” near Yellowstone’s popular Elephant Back Loop Trail. Investigators identified what appeared to be defensive wounds on the man’s arms. It was the fifth bear fatality in Yellowstone since 2010.
It’s not just in places like Yellowstone. The first fatal bear attack on record in New Jersey took place last year when a some Rutgers students on a hike stumbled onto a black bear, snapped some photos, then tried to run for it. In Alaska, as in Yellowstone, brown bears will sometimes eat people. That’s what happened to a man on Chichagof Island in 2012, which is also the year the first bear fatality was recorded in Alaska’s Denali National Park. Responding to reports from hikers who found a backback and spots of blood, park rangers “spotted a large male grizzly bear sitting on the hiker’s remains, which they called a ‘food cache’ in the underbrush.”
Don’t Let Yourself Get Mauled by a Bear
But don’t worry, you don’t have to be a victim like DiCaprio’s character in “The Revenant.” If a bear attacks you, don’t just lie down and get mauled and eaten. You can fight back in various ways, like shoving your arm down the bear’s throat.
That’s what Chase Dellwo did. The 26-year-old Montana man was attacked by a 400-pound male grizzly while hunting with his brother in October. The bear knocked Dellwo over, bit him on the head, grabbed his leg and shook him, tossing him through the air.
That’s when Dellwo decided to fight back. “I remembered an article that my grandmother gave me a long time ago that said large animals have bad gag reflexes,” he told the Associated Press. “So I shoved my right arm down his throat.”
Even more extreme is the story of 48-year-old Toby Burke, one of the most courageous and heroic Alaskans alive. In April 2013, he and his wife and kids were out for a bird-watching trip on a beach near their home when a female brown bear, ravenous from a winter’s hibernation, approached them. Armed with nothing but a tripod and a spotting scope, Burke positioned himself between his family and the bear, which state troopers later said had been acting oddly, attacking a vehicle and telephone pole before charging Burke.
The bear quickly swatted away the spotting scope and snapped the tripod, leaving Burke with nothing but his fists and thick coat. The bear reared up on its haunches and latched onto Burke’s left arm with its powerful jaws. Knowing he had to remain upright or be mauled, Burke repeatedly punched the bear in the face with his free right hand as the pair rotated, toe to toe, and Burke’s family scrambled to stay behind him. Eventually the bear disengaged, cowed into retreat by Burke’s fists.
The moral of the story is that you most certainly won’t get raped by a bear—but you might get mauled. Even then, if you keep your head on a swivel, stay on your feet, and do what American hero Toby Burke did, you might not get mauled at all.