Warning: this article contains graphic content.
A Bella Coola man is recovering in Vancouver General Hospital after he was attacked by a sow — or female — grizzly bear.
Jordan Carbery said he spotted some movement outside his home sometime after 5 a.m on Tuesday. He went outside to investigate and saw some cubs in a cherry tree.
One of the cubs fell out of the tree, which was near the entrance of his home. That caught the attention of the mama bear.
“I looked over to see a sow grizzly bear looking right at me and heading straight for me,” he said.
He tried to run back to the house.
“Suddenly I was just run over,” he said. “It felt like two football players tackling me.”
Carbery found himself on the ground and “next thing I realize is that the bear had my head in its mouth and was picking me up.”
The bear grabbed him again, he said, and let him go.
He tried to fend off the bear by kicking at it. “I kicked her in the face three times at least,” Carbery recalled, “and then I tried to hit her in the face in the snout. She was like a prize boxer. She was so fast.”
Carbery managed to create enough separation between him and the sow to make his way into the house.
Since he was in an area with no cellphone coverage, he had to drive himself to hospital.
As he ran out his to his car, the bear charged at him again.
He made it into the car and drove to hospital. On the way, he caught a glimpse of himself in the rear-view mirror.
“I was covered in blood,” he said.
“I was mostly concerned with my abdomen because I thought she had split me open,” Carbery said. “I thought my guts were hanging out.”
“I had my arm over my belly, I’m changing gears and driving with my other arm and I’m saying to myself, ‘Don’t pass out, don’t pass out.'”
Carbery made his way to hospital and was eventually transferred to Vancouver General Hospital with multiple injuries, including a torn scalp, several puncture wounds in his leg, and a damaged abdomen.
He is now recovering and says he’s lucky to be alive.
The Environment Ministry said the sow was not destroyed because she was defending her cubs.
“It wasn’t the bear’s fault at all,” Carbery said. “It was me dropping my guard and walking out into a situation that was already charged.”
— With files from Jill Bennett