Bear encounters—let alone attacks—are so rare that the majority of outdoorsmen can hike the trails their whole lives and never even see a bear in the wild. A Washington man, however, became the exception to this rule by surviving two bear attacks on the same stretch of trail in a span of four years.
In an interview with ABC News in Seattle, the man, who requested to be referred to as “Bob,” reported that the first incident occurred four years ago on a trail nearly 50 miles south of Seattle. Then on April 16 of this year, Bob was with his dog on the same trail and a black bear attacked after being spooked by Bob’s dog.
During the first attack, he said he “rolled up in a ball and stayed still,” but this second time he defended himself against the attack with a tree branch. He said the bear bit him on his head, hands and arms a total of more than 40 times.
“He would whip around, do this 180 and go for my leg, my shoulders, my head, and just come in and bite me again, and I would just try to nail it when it came in,” he told the station.
Wildlife officials were able to kill the 300-lb bear they believe to be responsible for the most recent incident. Shaken with some cuts and bruises, Bob is recovering nicely, but reports that he won’t be hiking the trail anymore. “Just getting too old to fight ‘em anymore,” he admits.