Ali Wentworth Recalls Encountering a Black Bear While Hiking with Mariska Hargitay

“I kept saying, ‘You’re Olivia Benson, do something, go fight the bear!’” Ali Wentworth recalled of her adventure with SVU star Mariska Hargitay 

Ali Wentworth is reminiscing on a particularly adventurous "girls trip" she took with Mariska Hargitay and another friend.

While stepping in for Kelly Ripa on Monday's episode of Live with Kelly and Ryan, the actress told co-host Ryan Seacrest about their hiking trip in Tennessee, which ended with some unintentional wildlife spotting.

"We decide to go hiking in Tennessee, which is out of my comfort zone because I like a nice beach and a hot dog," said Wentworth, 56. "It's beautiful, except we stupidly went on a hike without a guide and we don't know how to read trail signs. So we started out, we thought we'd go for like, 45 minutes because, you know, we're not in tip-top shape."

"We started not having Wi-Fi — we couldn't Insta Story for like, two hours. Anyway, four hours go by and then we run into ..." she continued as she held up a photo of a large black bear in the woods. "This is a black bear."

Ali Wentworth and Mariska Hargitay’s Bear Encounter

"Let me tell you something, you can throw me a copperhead or a rattlesnake any day, but when you see a black bear, your heart jumps," she said, noting that she couldn't remember if the correct protocol was to make noise or hide, so she did both.

"I had a complete personality disorder with the bear," she joked. "He was pretty close and I was doing, screaming and then rolling, screaming and then rolling, and he literally looked at me and was like, 'You're a crazy person' and kept going and left."

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Wentworth then shared that she was with Hargitay, 57, and referenced her friend's role as Detective Olivia Benson on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

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"I'm dropping that name because I kept saying, 'You're Olivia Benson, do something, go fight the bear!'" she said. "And she wouldn't fight the bear."

Finally, the group was picked up by a couple passing by in their car.

"We got back because this really sweet couple in their 80s picked us up, it was like, Tim and Joanne, and we were like, 'help, help!'" Wentworth said. "We got in the car — I was sitting on Mariska's lap — they drove us back to where we were staying."

When they returned, Wentworth recalled telling the couple, "You can go home and tell all your friends that you saved Olivia Benson."

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