A man survived being mauled by a brown bear Tuesday in a remote part of Alaska, The Associated Press (AP) reported.
The ordeal lasted only seconds but left the man with lacerations, a crushed jaw, and a puncture wound on his scalp down to the bone, according to The AP. Doctors are also reportedly concerned about the man’s right eye, which is currently covered with a patch.
Alaska man survives mauling by large brown bear he says put its mouth over his head https://t.co/g8Yt7ukGpP
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 20, 2021
61-year-old Allen Minish was surveying land for a real estate agent when he looked up and saw the bear about 30 feet away, according to the AP. “I saw him and he saw me at the same time, and it’s scary,” Minish told the AP on a phone call from an Anchorage hospital.
The bear — which Minish estimated to be over 300 pounds, then charged at him — The AP reported. Minish tried to flee and use some small spruce trees as cover, but the thicket did not slow down the bear. according to The AP. Minish then held up his surveying pole to fend off the bear, but the animal reportedly swatted the pole with a force that knocked Minish onto the ground. (RELATED: 7% Of Men Think They Can Beat A Grizzly Bear In A Fight, 23% Believe They Can Beat A King Cobra)
“As he lunged up on top of me, I grabbed his lower jaw to pull him away,” Minish recounted to The AP, adding that he suffered a puncture wound to his hand, “But he tossed me aside there, grabbed a quarter of my face.”
Minish said that the bear “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.”
In a matter of seconds, the bear stalked away. Minish believes that the animal left because it realized he no longer posed any threat, The AP reported.
“I realized I was in pretty bad shape because I had all this blood everywhere,” Minish told The AP. “It took awhile 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,” Minish added.
The mauling took place in the forests around Gulkana, about 190 miles northeast of Anchorage. At first, the rescuers tried to carry Minish through the woods to a road where an ambulance could pick him up. But that did not work as planned, so Minish had to walk about a quarter of a mile through the damp forest to be picked up, The AP reported. Minish was taken to an airport then flown to Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage via medical helicopter.
Minish has lived in Alaska for more than 40 years and knows six people who have been mauled by bears. “I guess I feel lucky,” he told The AP, “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.”
Minish is reportedly listed as in good condition at the hospital.