A man in Alaska survived a bear mauling this week and said he feels “lucky” to have lived through the ordeal, the third bear attack in the United States this year.
As reported by the Associated Press, Allen Minish was by himself and surveying land for a real estate agent in a desolate area of Alaska when he encountered a large brown bear about 30 feet away from him.
“I saw him and he saw me at the same time, and it’s scary,” he said over the phone from the hospital to the outlet on Wednesday, a day after the bear mauling which he said lasted less than 10 seconds.
The outlet reported that the mauling resulted in Minish suffering “a crushed jaw, a puncture wound in his scalp so deep the doctor told him he could see bone, lacerations, and many stitches after a 4.5-hour surgery. He also is wearing a patch over his right eye, saying the doctors are worried about it.”
According to Minish, the bear was bigger than 300-pound black bears he has encountered. It charged towards him in a matter of seconds and as Minish attempted to escape by hiding behind small trees, the bear kept going through them. Minish pointed his surveying pole at the bear, but it knocked the object away, pushing Minish onto the ground.
“As he lunged up on top of me, I grabbed his lower jaw to pull him away,” he said, adding that’s how he suffered a puncture wound to his hand. “But he tossed me aside there, grabbed a quarter of my face.”
“He took a small bite and then he took a second bite, and the second bite is the one that broke the bones … and crushed my right cheek basically,” he said.
The bear let go and Minish put his face towards the ground and covered his head with his hands. After he did so, the bear simply walked away. Minish said he thinks the bear walked away because he did not think that Minish was a threat anymore.
“I realized I was in pretty bad shape because I had all this blood everywhere,” he said.
He dialed 911 on his phone and began to use his clothing to wrap around his head and stop the bleeding.
“It took a while to give them that because I had so much blood flowing into my eyes and on to the GPS, I kept having to wipe it all off,” he said.
The process of getting Minish out of the area was a task in itself and rescue personnel attempted to carry him through the forest, but ended up helping him walk “a quarter-mile through swamps, brush, and trees. From there, he was taken to a nearby airport and flown to Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage by a medical helicopter. He is listed in good condition at Providence,” per the outlet.
Minish said that the one lesson he learned is that he should have had someone with him as he went into the woods.
“I guess I feel lucky,” Minish said, after someone told him his situation is better than not being alive.
“In all honesty, it wouldn’t have mattered either way. You know, if it killed me, it killed me. I had a good life; I’m moving on. It didn’t kill me, so now let’s move on to the other direction of trying to stay alive,” he said.
This is at least the third bear attack this year after recent attacks resulted in the death of two people. One woman was killed by a bear in Colorado while she was walking her dogs, and a backcountry guide was killed near Yellowstone National Park in Montana.
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Author : Charlotte Pence Bond
Source : Man Survives Bear Mauling In Alaska