A 36-year-old New Mexico man was out walking his dogs near the town of Raton when a bear attacked, according to the Associated Press.
“When he saw me, he pinned his ears down and immediately made a big charge at me,” Bridger Petrini told KRQE.
He was able to shoot the bear during the attack, which killed it, according to the Ruidoso News.
But just because the bear was shot doesn’t mean it let go of him.
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“Somehow or another, he had bitten down on my calf muscle,” Petrini told KRQE. “It had basically twisted it over his bottom jaw, and then he died with his teeth locked, and so I wasn’t able to get away from him.”
Petrini told the television station that authorities had to saw the bear’s head off to move the animal off of him.
He received serious injuries from the attack — including a bite to the back of his knee — and was airlifted to the University of New Mexico Hospital, according to a news release from the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.
“Bears are unpredictable,” the agency warned in the release, and people should be aware of them, especially during the summer when bears are out looking for food.
If you see a bear, here are some ways to protect yourself, according to the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish:
“Stop, and back away slowly while facing the bear. Avoid direct eye contact, as the bear may consider that a threat. Do not run. Make yourself appear large by holding out your jacket. If you have small children, pick them up so they don’t run.Give the bear plenty of room to escape, so it doesn’t feel threatened or trapped. If a black bear attacks you, fight back using anything at your disposal, such as rocks, sticks, binoculars or even your bare hands. Aim for the bear’s nose and eyes.If the bear has not seen you, stay calm and slowly move away, making noise so the bear knows you are there. Never get between a mother bear and her cubs.”