Helena: Fifty-year-old Todd Orr sounded caution for all on adventure trips to the Rocky Mountains after he was mauled by a grizzly bear, twice.
Orr took to Facebook even before medication to warn—Carry bear spray and “be safe out there”.
Orr from Bozeman city was out on an early morning hike in familiar terrain on Saturday and had shouted out frequently to ward off lurking bears but it didn’t work.
A mother grizzly with cubs charged at him from about 80 feet away, reported CBS News.
In a detailed recount on Facebook, Orr described how all his precautionary measures failed. He sprayed in the animal’s face as it charged, but instead of stopping it mauled him with a double attack.
Orr went face down into the dirt to save himself, but “she was on top of me biting my arms, shoulders and backpack,” Orr wrote in his post with the initial, blood-drenched video.
Akin to the Leonardo DiCaprio starrer in “The Revenant” style attack, Orr said, “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… minutes… seemed an eternity,” before she disappeared.
Orr was badly chewed up, but had to walk and jog for about three miles (4.5 km) back to his truck. And he almost believed he was lucky.
But, ten minutes later, his nemesis was back.
In the second attack, Orr dove to the ground and tried to play dead covering the back of his neck.
A bite on his forearm went through to the bone and he heard a crunch, said Orr.
His hand went numb and wrist and fingers were limp. As he flinched to gasp for a breath—the sound triggered a frenzy of bites on his shoulder and upper back.
He acted dead, as the bear bit his head and a gash opened above his ear “nearly scalping me” said Orr.
Incidentally, Orr had a holstered pistol, but it was torn off him during the attack.
Finally his act of death paid off. The bear stopped, but not before standing atop of him, crushing his abdomen and head into the ground. It then left, assured its victim vanquished.
Orr had to manage a nearly 28 km drive to the Madison Valley Medical Center in Ennis.
X-rays later showed a bone fragment chipped off his arm. Orr needed “eight hours of stitching to be put back together”.
There were many puncture wounds to his upper body, but things could have been worse had the 5-inch long gash over his right ear gone deeper.
Orr will have nasty scars and fears balding quickly.
He signed off saying, “Not my best day, but I’m alive. So thankful I’m here to share with all of you.”
First Published | 4 October 2016 12:33 PM