A New Brunswick man is recovering after a bear attack left with him with lacerations and bite marks, but the bear did not get away unscathed either. According to the CBC, Gilles Cyr was taking a walk through his woodlot earlier this month when a black bear approached him. With little warning, the bear pushed Cyr to the ground and began mauling him. Cyr says he instinctively grabbed the first thing presented to him when the bear opened its mouth: the tongue. The man maintained a firm grip on the appendage throughout the struggle and managed to prevent any severe bites. Every time the bear attempted to munch down on Cyr, it would instead bite its own tongue.
“For a second, I thought I was dead […] that’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you open your eyes and see that friggin’ mouth full of teeth and a tongue in there. It’s like […] an extreme sport,” Cyr said.
The man was eventually able to escape with the bear in pursuit. The animal followed for a distance but broke off the chase abruptly, allowing Cyr to find medical attention. Luckily, he only suffered only scratches to his belly and a bite to his knee.
Although it was an unorthodox bear defense method, reaching into the animal’s mouth may have prevented more serious injuries. Wildlife officials are currently considering whether the animal should be considered a nuisance and destroyed.
An interview with Cyr can be seen below:
Image courtesy National Park Service