Saskatchewan man escapes black bear attack

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Wednesday, May 4, 2005

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service stock photo of a Black bear

John Rudachyk told reporters he thought he was moments from death Sunday during an attack by a black bear but managed to crawl away to his car and drive home.

Mr. Rudachyk, 32, was reportedly searching for deer horns in the woods near his home in Norquay, Saskatchewan when he says the bear suddenly charged at him out of some thick brush, snorting and grunting. He managed to climb a nearby poplar tree but before getting too high, the bear reached him. Mr. Rudachyk recalls kicking the bear's nose which caused it to momentarily retreat but then attacked again grabbing his foot and flinging him into a spruce tree. Mr. Rudachyk said he then fell to the ground and was briefly knocked out. After regaining consciousness, despite a mangled foot, broken bones, and numerous cuts, he managed to crawl to his car some 700 metres away never daring to look back to see if the bear was still near. He told a CBC reporter, "I figured if he was going to come after me, I didn't want to know. I was that scared."

Mr. Rudachyk, now recovering in a Regina hospital, said he does not know how he managed to survive the attack and drive himself home. "It was a pretty big bear. I thought I was dead. I thought that was the end of my life and all I could do was try to fight, stay alive or whatever."