Lesson learned: Never get near a momma bear and her cubs
“Life sucks in bear country,” says Todd Orr, a Montana man who says he was mauled by a grizzly bear not once, but twice, during an early morning hike on Saturday.
Once the grizzly, who was with her two cubs, spotted Orr, it was game over. As he recalls in his Facebook post, she charged right at him—and not even bear spray could keep her at bay. She barreled right through the mist, Orr says.
Orr dove face-first to the ground and shielded the back of his neck with his arms. The grizzly gnawed at his arms for “what seemed like eternity,” then vanished—for a while.
Orr started to walk back to his truck, but a few minutes down the trail, he turned around to find the bear charging at him again. This time, the bear bit his head and neck, leaving him severely bloodied with a 5-inch gash along the side of his head.
Eventually Orr played dead. After the bear stood on top of him for 30 seconds like a scene straight out of The Revenant, she finally left, he says.
Before heading to the hospital, naturally, he took to Facebook and filmed a live video (even Mark Zuckerberg himself gave it a “like”)
The scariest part of the whole story? This man actually did everything right, says Ron Aasheim, a spokesman for Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks.
Using bear spray is the most effective way to protect yourself during an attack, and it’s unusual that it didn’t work in this case, says Aasheim.
Orr used bear spray, protected himself in a fetal position, left the area, and played dead—all of which are recommended in the National Park Service guidelines for staying safe around grizzly bears.
He may not have been able to prevent the attacks—but knowing the right protective measures might have saved his life. If you plan to venture out into bear territory, do your homework by reading the park service guidelines so you can be similarly prepared.