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Thursday 29 September 2016

'We grabbed its mouth and prised apart its jaws': British climbers tell of miraculous escape after terrifying attack by grizzly bear

Hamza Jabir, Press Association Scotland

Published 02/12/2015 | 07:33

Greg Boswell was climbing in the Canadian Rockies when the bear attacked. Photo: Nick Bullock
Greg Boswell was climbing in the Canadian Rockies when the bear attacked. Photo: Nick Bullock

A Scottish climber has been seriously injured in a "terrifying" attack by a grizzly bear in Canada.

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Greg Boswell, from Cupar in Fife, and friend Nick Bullock were scaling an ascent called Dirty Love on the 3,261ft Mount Wilson in the Canadian Rockies at the weekend when the bear attacked.

Greg Boswell recovering after being attacked by a grizzly bear on Mount Wilson in the Canadian Rockies Photo: Nick Bullock
Greg Boswell recovering after being attacked by a grizzly bear on Mount Wilson in the Canadian Rockies Photo: Nick Bullock

Writing on his blog, Mr Bullock, from Llanberis, Gwynedd, north Wales, described how Mr Boswell had to "prize apart" the "monster" bear's jaw to free himself from its grip.

He said: "Greg ran out of sight and the carnivorous freight train passed me, snorting and growling and bounding, dusting me with spindrift - it looked at me for a second, and for a second I thought this is it, but in that second the bear had spotted Greg had fallen.

"It bit straight though his brand new boot as if it were a carpet slipper. It lunged once more and crunched into his shin, placing a paw on his other leg before lifting him off the ground.

"He grabbed the bear's mouth and prized apart the jaws, pushing, and screaming... Nick, Nick, help, it's got me."

Nick Bullock was accompanying Greg Boswell on the climb Photo: Nick Bullock
Nick Bullock was accompanying Greg Boswell on the climb Photo: Nick Bullock
Greg Boswell required surgery on the bite injuries sustained in the attack Photo: Nick Bullock

Mr Bullock said he ran to help his friend, who then escaped and fled "screaming and shouting" from the animal. They both managed to hide in the surrounding forest, where they waited to "ambush" the bear if it returned.

After spending a number of hours in freezing temperatures, the pair found the route down the mountain and made it to the town of Banff, Alberta, where they were treated at a local hospital.

Mr Boswell required surgery on the bite injuries sustained in the attack. He posted a status update on Facebook thanking his friend for his help.

He said: "It was just as terrifying for him as it was for me. I literally owe my life to Nick. I was in shock after the incident and didn't know what to do. Nick got me out of there and drove me to the hospital.

"It was a friend doing as much as he could in a crazy situation to keep his friend from dying. I probably would have died of hypothermia or blood loss if he hadn't kept me going. I can't thank Nick enough, even though I know I don't have to. Cheers bro."

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