A HIKER has shared his terrifying ordeal after he was viciously attacked twice by a mother bear protecting her cubs in rural Montana.
Todd Orr, 50, described the mauling in graphic detail in a Facebook post, sharing gruesome photos of his bloodied head and body.
He said the force of each bite “was like a sledge hammer with teeth”.
Orr was hiking in an open meadow near Ennis, Montana, when he came across the animal.
Knowing that grizzlies were common on the trail Orr said he had been shouting out to signal his presence.
Orr, who runs a knife-making business, said the grizzly mum initially ran away but after a short distance she turned and charged.
Despite discharging a full canister of bear spray Orr said the bear’s “momentum carried her right through the orange mist and on me.”
He wrote: “I went to my face in the dirt and wrapped my arms around the back of my neck for protection. She was on top of me biting my arms, shoulders and backpack.
“The force of each bite was like a sledge hammer with teeth. She would stop for a few seconds and then bite again. Over and over. After a couple minutes, but what seemed an eternity, she disappeared.”
Bloodied but strong enough to walk Orr picked himself up and set off down the trail towards his truck, which was parked three miles away. But after five or ten minutes he saw the bear again. “She either followed me back down the trail or cut through the trees and randomly came out on the trail right behind me,” he said. The bear attacked once more, with even more ferocity than the first time. “Again I protected the back of my neck with my arms, and kept tight against the ground to protect my face and eyes,” he wrote.
“She slammed down on top of me and bit my shoulder and arms again. 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.”
Orr gasped in pain and the noise provoked more bites to his shoulder and upper back.
A bite to his head caused a gash to open above his ear “nearly scalping me,” said Orr.
Orr said he was convinced it was only a matter of time before the bear hit an artery and he bled out. But suddenly the animal stopped the attack and stayed motionless on top of the stricken hiker for half a minute before she left.
Orr got back up and rushed down the trial to his truck. He drove himself to hospital where he was stitched for eight hours and treated for a five-inch gash to the head. An X-ray revealed a chip to the ulna bone in his forearm.
“Not my best day, but I’m alive,” he wrote: “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 (sic) seat.”
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