Todd Orr: Bear attack ‘like a sledgehammer with teeth’

Todd Orr: Bear attack 'like a sledgehammer with teeth'
Todd Orr: Bear attack 'like a sledgehammer with teeth'

Todd Orr survived two consecutive grizzly bear attacks and drove himself nearly 20 miles to a hospital after capturing his gruesome wounds on camera.

Todd Orr recorded a video of himself covered in blood and puncture wounds following the brushes with death. Orr posted pictures of his injuries on Facebook. They included numerous bite marks on his arm and a deep and extremely long gash to his head.

Recounting the tale, Orr said that he entered a meadow and shouted out, a commonly used method to scare bears away. But he caught the attention of a female grizzly with cubs, who charged at him.

Despite using a full charge of bear spray on her, Orr was knocked to the ground. “I went to my face in the dirt and wrapped my arms around the back of my neck for protection,” he wrote.

“She was on top of me biting my arms, shoulders and backpack. The force of each bite was like a sledge hammer with teeth. She would stop for a few seconds and then bite again. Over and over. After a couple minutes, but what seemed an eternity, she disappeared.”

Stunned by the fact that he was still alive, Orr began making his way back to his truck without tending to his injuries so as to put as much distance between himself and the bear.

But between five and 10 minutes later, Orr found himself face to face with the ferocious creature once more and questioned whether he could survive yet another attack.

Reliving the moment the bear lunged at him, Orr said: “Again I protected the back of my neck with my arms, and kept tight against the ground to protect my face and eyes. She slammed down on top of me and bit my shoulder and arms again. One bite on my forearm went through to the bone and I heard a crunch. My hand instantly went numb and wrist and fingers were limp and unusable.

“The sudden pain made me flinch and gasp for breath. The sound triggered a frenzy of bites to my shoulder and upper back. I knew I couldn’t move or make a sound again so I huddled motionless.

“Another couple bites to my head and a gash opened above my ear, nearly scalping me. The blood gushed over my face and into my eyes. I didn’t move. I thought this was the end. She would eventually hit an artery in my neck and I would bleed out in the trail… But I knew that moving would trigger more bites so a laid motionless hoping it would end.”

The bear then stood on top of Orr, who tried to remain as still as possible to put an end to the onslaught. Eventually the female grizzly wandered off, leaving her victim badly injured but still alive.

“I couldn’t believe I had survived two attacks. Double lucky!” said Orr. Mustering the strength to get up after a second attack, Orr managed to get back to his truck and met a rancher, who called the hospital for him.

Despite his injuries, Orr drove 17 miles to Ennis hospital, where he was met by a doctor, nurse and an officer. It took eight hours to stitch his wounds back together. “Not my best day, but I’m alive,” Orr wrote. “So thankful I’m here to share with all of you.”

Sherri E. White

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