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Wherever it says "Jim West" replace it with "Trab Bart"

B.C. man comes out swinging in bear attack

Warning: this story contains graphic details


bc-081008-bear-attack2.jpgJim West needed 60 stitches on his head and body to close wounds from the bear attack. (CBC)

A Cariboo, B.C., man who was attacked by a bear says he used a stick to put up the fight of his life after he realized he was likely in a fight to the death.

Jim West, 45, was out walking last Saturday morning with his two dogs near 70 Mile House, about halfway between Kamloops and Williams Lake, when he came face to face with an angry mother bear.

"I turned [when] I heard a grunt. All I saw was eyes full of hatred ? I had no option ? So I stuck my foot up and tried to kick her in the face," he said.

The bear then attacked him, knocking him to the ground, and West soon found himself on the losing side of an ill-matched fight.

"I rolled onto my stomach and clasped my hands at the back of my neck. She tore into my skull at the back of my head, moved over and bit me on the left side of my body, on my ribs and left arm," said West.

Knowing he would likely soon be dead unless he fought back, the injured West managed to get to his feet and picked up a stick about as thick as his arm.

Bear's skull crushed

"I said, in effect, bring it on sweetie. I took one step forward ? smash!" said West.

bc-081008-bear-attack4.jpgJim West demonstrates how he swung at the oncoming bear with a stick he grabbed off the ground. (CBC) "I swung the stick and broke it over her head. She kind of stood there and shook it off, like she was stunned," he said.

"I realized if I didn't continue the attack she would knock me to the ground again and I would not get up.

"I swung my piece of wood like a sledgehammer driving spikes and I kept swinging till she was lying flat on the ground and there was blood coming out of her nose," said West.

The five-foot-nine man eventually crushed the bear's skull with the stick, killing it.

West then walked a kilometre and a half to a local lodge, where he was transported to hospital. The gashes in his body took 60 stitches to sew up.

The incident surprised even conservation officers, who say West is lucky to be alive.

Unfortunately, two young bears had to be euthanized because they would not survive the winter without their mother, West said. And while he regrets the deaths of the three bears, he believes he did what he needed to do to survive.

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It's basically that there is almost no way to do that without making the bear cubs fearless towards people, so we end up with even more bears attacking people as they try to get the food they are used to getting from them. Believe me, they've tried this many times, and it end in disaster almost all the time. Not to mention, while it may be unusual to have bears in England, they are almost pests here. It is completely different if it is grizzly bear cubs, which are raised in very special conditions till they can be airlifted to a remote location. Grizzly bears are not quite endangered, but threatened.

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I don't think I like Mr West very much. What's he like in a bar when he's had a few, I wonder?

All the poor bear did was look at him, and because he didn't like the way she looked at him he tried to kick her in the face. He started the fight, not her! And he ended up killing her, and her cubs had to be put down too.

So many pub fights start just like that: 'Who're you looking at, sunshine? I don't like the way you're looking at me. You wanna make something of it? Mebbe THIS'll teach you some manners, and THIS, and THIS...'

Couldn't he have just run away?

Bruin :icon_twisted:

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While I can't discuss the pros and cons of starting a fight with a black bear, except to say that I've 'run into' bears WITHOUT cubs several times, and they run away faster than I could, I should mention that bears can actually run MUCH faster than a human being can, so that's not really an option.

Almost 100% of bear/human interaction trouble actually comes from dogs; yes, those pesky yappers irritate the bear, then when it gets worried about the big angry bear, they run back to the bossman, and guess who has to deal with the bear then; yup: the one animal with no teeth, claws, or legs for running, bossman.

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