A wildlife enthusiast was brutally ripped apart by a Grizzly bear in Montana Saturday and he lived to tell the tale on Facebook.
Todd Orr was trail-hiking to scout for elk when he spotted the bear with its cubs. Orr “hollered out ‘hey bear’ about every 30 seconds so as to not surprise any bears along the trail,” but this tactic did not deter the animal, according to the man’s Facebook post.
“The sow [female bear] saw me right away and they ran a short distance up the trail. But suddenly she turned and charged straight my way. I yelled a number of times so she knew I was human and would hopefully turn back. No such luck,” he described.
Orr deployed his bear mace, but the sow was not fazed. Orr went to the ground and used his arms to protect the back of his neck. The sow bit into Orr’s arms, shoulders and back pack.
“The force of each bite was like a sledge hammer with teeth,” Orr detailed. After what felt like “an eternity,” the bear left Orr battered and extremely cut up.
He dusted himself, and walked back on the trail towards the truck, which was 3 miles away. While intermittently jogging, Orr looked down at his severe wounds. He chose not to tend to his injuries in order to get to his vehicle as quickly as possible.
But only five to ten minutes later, Orr “heard a sound and turned to find the Griz bearing down at 30 feet. She either followed me back down the trail or cut through the trees and randomly came out on the trail right behind me.” The sow seemed to come back to finish what she started.
“I couldn’t, believe this was happening a second time! Why me? I was so lucky the first attack, but now I questioned if I would survive the second,” Orr explained.
Orr used the same defense mechanism as the first time, protecting the back of his neck with his arms and hugged the ground to protect his face and eyes. The bear continued to bite the shoulder and arms.
One bite on my forearm went through to the bone and I heard a crunch. My hand instantly went numb and wrist and fingers were limp and unusable. The sudden pain made me flinch and gasp for breath. The sound triggered a frenzy of bites to my shoulder and upper back. I knew I couldn’t move or make a sound again so I huddled motionless. Another couple bites to my head and a gash opened above my ear, nearly scalping me. The blood gushed over my face and into my eyes. I didn’t move. I thought this was the end. She would eventually hit an artery in my neck and I would bleed out in the trail … But I knew that moving would trigger more bites so a [sic] laid motionless hoping it would end.
The bear suddenly stopped, but continued to stand on top of Orr. He describes the unforgettable moment where there was nothing but “dead silence except for the sound of her heavy breathing and sniffling.” Orr felt the sow’s breath on the back of his neck and the full weight of the wild animal. Eventually, the sow left again.
Orr got up, brushed the pools of blood dripping over his eyes, and then reached for the pistol he wasn’t able to grab earlier that was lying in the holster around five feet away. Completely covered in blood, Orr trotted down the trail towards his truck believing he would not die of blood loss if he hurried.
Orr then found a rancher on his path, who called for medical attention. Orr drove himself to the local hospital, but not before buckling his seat belt.
“When I got into cell service, I made a quick call to my girlfriend to ask how her morning was going, before freaking her out and asking her to bring me a change of clean clothes to the hospital,” Orr said.
His injuries are extensive and include a chip in the ulna bone in his forearm, eight hours of stitching for multiple parts of his body, and deep bruises and scrapes in the shape of bear claws and bite marks. The most noticeable injury is the five inch gash going across the right side of his head, just on top of the ear.
“Not my best day, but I’m alive. So thankful I’m here to share with all of you. 🙂 In a couple weeks I will have to clean out the truck a little better. My girlfriend says it looks like I had gutted an elk in the drivers seat,” Orr concluded.
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