Weird Nature
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People Describe Their Harrowing Bear Attack Stories

Updated November 5, 2019 8.7k views14 items
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Despite the fact you're more likely to be struck by lightning than be attacked by a grizzly, terrifying bear attacks do still take place. When bear attack survivors share their stories, like other animal attack survivors, the tales provide valuable information on how to behave in a similar situation. Bears are deadly creatures, and survivors often live because they remembered training in what to do and, in many cases, were just plain lucky.

It is truly harrowing to be mauled by a bear. The powerful creatures use their sharp claws and teeth to bite and scratch at their victim's body, crushing bone and ripping flesh in the process. Many people who survive emerge with terrible scars or are left with physical challenges to overcome. These bear attack survivors shared their stories of coming face-to-face with one of nature's most powerful creatures—and explained how they survived.

  • A Woman Was Attacked By A Grizzly While Walking Her Dogs And Lived To Tell The Tale

    Patty Miller had a three-year summer tradition of renting a trailer in Montana near her brother's fishing cabin and Glacier National Park. In 2013, she was on a walk around a lake with her two dogs when they stumbled upon two grizzly bear cubs and their mother.

    Miller recalled to Backpacker:

    She reared up onto her hind legs, must have been 8 feet tall. Her roar echoed throughout the valley as she dropped down to chase after me at a speed I didn't think possible. "So this is how it ends," I thought as I started to run.

    The bear quickly caught her, clawing at her arms and biting her head. Miller was unable to reach her bear spray and blacked out, waking up after the bear wandered off. One of her dogs was dead and Miller realized she had forgotten her cell phone. She started walking, found an empty mountain road, and continued until a passing truck stopped almost four hours later. The bear had crushed the bones in her face and ripped the muscles in her neck, and although Miller lost an eye in the attack, doctors were able to save her life.

  • A Man Lost His Nose And One Cheek When He Got In The Middle Of His Dog's Standoff With A Grizzly

    Video: YouTube

    While working on his Wyoming ranch in 2013, Nic Patrick heard his dog barking and thought it had gotten into a fight with a raccoon. He went to break it up but soon realized the dog was barking at a mother grizzly and her cubs. The bear immediately attacked him and Patrick hit her with the shovel he was carrying to no effect. She bit him in the face, tearing off a section between his eyes and mouth before dragging him a few yards away by the knee. Patrick maneuvered onto his stomach to protect his organs and the bear eventually left.

    Assuming he was safe, he got up and tried to phone for help. Unfortunately, Patrick had no cell service and the bear soon returned when it saw he was still alive. She bit the back of his head and clawed him some more before leaving with her cubs. Patrick hobbled a quarter of a mile home where his wife called for help. Wth his nose and one cheek gone, doctors used skin from Patrick's back to rebuild his face around a prosthetic nose.

  • A Woman Was Able To Kick A Black Bear Away In Order To Escape Its Claws, Then Screamed Until It Left

    Video: YouTube

    Laurie Cooksey was hiking with three of her children in Virginia's Douthat State Park when one of her sons spotted a black bear only feet in front of them. It charged and the four of them took off running, but the bear caught Cooksey and pushed her to the ground, biting her on the leg. "He was fast. He was just so fast. The saving grace was it was raining hard and the leaves were slippery," she said.

    Cooksey and the bear slid down an incline and she managed to kick the bear hard enough that it slid a good distance away from her. Then, she made a run for it. She met up with her kids just before the bear reappeared. This time, they screamed at it and made as much noise as they could, causing the bear to lose interest and leave. Cooksey received stitches in her leg and on her back to treat the injuries from the attack.

  • A Man Survived A Grizzly Bear Attack On His Birthday

    Photo: Jean-Pierre Lavoie / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

    Kim Wunderlich was spending his 49th birthday bow hunting with a few friends in Montana's Gravelly Mountains in 2010 when he and a companion were surprised by a grizzly bear charging out of the bushes. Wunderlich tried to hide behind a tree, but the mother grizzly attacked him. The bear knocked Wunderlich to the ground and bit at his legs before being scared off by his companion's screaming.

    The men bandaged Wunderlich's wounds and they met up with the rest of their party before hiking almost two miles to their vehicle. Doctors discovered the bear had missed Wunderlich's groin and major arteries by mere inches, making his survival even more amazing.