Rescuers Forced To Decapitate Bear After It Clamped Onto A Big Game Hunter's Leg
A New Mexico man has survived a bear attack by killing the animal - only for rescuers to have to chop its head off from around his leg.
Big game hunter Bridger Petrini was confronted by the 200kg bear while walking his dogs in Raton, New Mexico.
"I got way too close, the bear was overly aggressive," Petrini told New Mexico local news outlet KRQE.
"When he saw me, he pinned his ears down and immediately made a big charge at me."
The animal attacked him and a struggle ensued, with Petrini and the bear falling down a ridge.
"Down the hill, we went again rolling and he had bit me a time or two but he was never able to get on my upper body, so my legs took most of it."
"Somehow or another, he had bitten down on my calf muscle it had basically twisted it over his bottom jaw so he died with his teeth locked and so I wasn't able to get away from him."
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Fortunately for Petrini, he was carrying a gun and managed to shoot the bear dead, but it remained attached to his leg.
Bridger survived the incident and the bear died, but he could not remove the 400lb bear from him. When the Raton Fire Department arrived, they were forced to decapitate the bear in order to remove the weight.
Eventually the rescuers got the bear's head off Petrini's leg and managed to get him to hospital.
He was airlifted to the University of New Mexico Hospital, where Petrini spent a week recovering from extensive nerve and tissue damage. He required 200 stitches to reconstruct the area of his leg that was bitten.
"Bears are huge so you can see all kinds of different injuries from bites to scratch marks from the claws to blunt force trauma," said Steve McLaughlin, a doctor at the hospital where Petrini was treated. "I've never seen this before this is extremely unusual."
New Mexico Department of Game and Fish conservation officer Tristanna Beckford said that it was just a coincidence that Petrini and the bear met, but encouraged members of the public to be vigilant to the danger posed by bears while hiking in the summer season.
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