Alaska man Allen Minish is lucky to be alive after an encounter with a brown bear that lasted less than 10 seconds, according to the surveyor who was just trying to enter GPS coordinates for a real estate agent when he came face to face with the bear.
Minish told the Associated Press that Tuesday’s attack happened after he startled the bear from about 30 feet away. The bear wasted no time closing the gap, and that’s when the “less than 10 seconds” of terror began. Minish said he tried to use his surveying pole to keep the bear off of him, but it was of no use. It was maul time.
“As he lunged up on top of me, I grabbed his lower jaw to pull him away,” Minish said. That led to the bear clamping down on his hand. “But he tossed me aside there, grabbed a quarter of my face.”
“He took a small bite and then he took a second bite, and the second bite is the one that broke the bones … and crushed my right cheek basically.”
The bear let go, the surveyor turned and went face-first to the ground, put his hands over his head and the bear walked away. This is what Allen’s face looks like today.
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• Crushed jaw
• Scalp puncture deep enough to see bone
• Multiple lacerations
• 4 1/2 hour surgery
• Possible eye damage
It took 59 minutes before help arrived. Yep, Minish, 61, thought the bear would come back and end him. “I kept hearing stuff,” he told the AP. The surveyor added that the lesson here is that he should’ve had someone with him and he should’ve had his gun, but it might not have mattered with how fast everything happened.
Still, the gun would’ve come in handy if the bear had come back for dessert.
“In all honesty, it wouldn’t have mattered either way. You know, if it killed me, it killed me. I had a good life; I’m moving on. It didn’t kill me, so now let’s move on to the other direction of trying to stay alive,” Allen added.
The odds are still in your favor not to be killed by a bear in Alaska. From 2000-2017, the Alaska Section of Epidemiology recorded 10 deaths from eight bear attacks and 68 people injured from 66 bear attacks. There were two people killed by bears in 2020.
Your odds of being attacked by a bear in Alaska and across the rest of the United States sit at around 1 in 2.1 million.