Sunday 16 June 2019

Park ranger 'blessed to be alive' after bear rips off his scalp

Jordan Carbery
Jordan Carbery

Mark Molloy

A Canadian park ranger who survived a mauling by a grizzly bear that ripped off part of his scalp and half of his ear says he feels "blessed to be alive".

Jordan Carbery fought off the 200kg mother bear after she bit down on his head in a sustained early morning attack outside his home in Bella Coola, British Columbia, last week.

He escaped by kicking the bear in the face and driving himself to hospital, fearing he was going to pass out at the wheel from shock and pain. "I thought my guts were hanging out," said the 50-year-old, who was attacked as he attempted to photograph grizzly cubs in a cherry tree just a few metres from his front door.

The ranger described the attack as "quite an adventure" and added: "She ripped off a portion of my scalp, half my ear, tore my pectoral muscle, gave me an umbilical hernia, and several deep canine teeth puncture wounds, plus several other wounds!"

Recalling his terrifying ordeal, Mr Carbery said he was left "covered in blood" after the bear repeatedly bit him. "Lots of injuries but glad to be alive!" he wrote. "I'm doing remarkably well! Good thing I have such a thick skull!"

Mr Carbery is a "lifelong bear lover", according to local reports, and regularly posts photos of wildlife on his Facebook pages.

One wellwisher responded to the posts: "I do believe you're about the luckiest son-of-a-gun on this planet."

Another wrote: "Your humility is inspiring. What a fine person you are. I'm so glad you are healing."

Conservation officer Len Butler said the bears won't be destroyed because the mother bear's attack on Mr Carbery was defensive.

Irish Independent

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