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Alaska man survives near-deadly encounter with brown bear that bit his head

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An Alaska man was able to bind up his wounds and call 911 after being mauled by a brown bear that bit him multiple times on the head.

Allen Minish, 61, was conducting a land survey near Gulkana when “he unknowingly walked up on an adult brown bear,” according to a dispatch from Alaska State Troopers Department of Public Safety.

Minish was alone and about half mile from the road when the bear charged him, the report said.

“All of the sudden, I looked up, and about 30 feet away, there was this nice-sized brown bear,” Minish told CNN affiliate KTUU. “And it looked at me, and it came at me. And I thought, ‘Great.'”

Minish tried to take shelter behind some shrubs, but they didn’t provide any protection, he told KTUU. He fell backwards as the bear approached him and grabbed it’s lower jaw to try to keep it from biting him.

“Because if you grab a dog’s lower jaw, it can’t bite you,” he told KTUU. “So I got a hole punched in my hand with its molar, but he couldn’t close his mouth. And all he did was scratch my hand with his upper one.”

But the bear shook its head and knocked his hand away.

“When he did that, he lunged, grabbed my head, took the first bite, relaxed, and took the second bite, that was stronger,” he told KTUU. “And that’s when he cracked all the bones and part of my head.”

The bear let him go and Minish rolled on the ground trying to protect his face and head with his arms until it left, KTUU reported.

He used his t-shirt and surveyors vest to try to stop the bleeding from his head, but still had to wipe blood out of his eyes and off his phone to call for help, he told KTUU.

Troopers and local Fire and Rescue personnel were able to locate Minish and take him to the Alaska Pipeline Road, according to the dispatch. A medical crew redid his bandages there and took him to the Gulkana Airport, KTUU reported.

He was flown to Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage, which is about 70 miles away. A hospital spokesperson said Minish was in good condition on Thursday.

He had trouble sleeping Tuesday night because he was thinking about the mauling, but told KTUU that he’s trying to stay in good spirits and even jokes with the nurses.

“I’m trying to keep it upbeat as much as I can; I try not to wallow in pity,” he told KTUU. “It doesn’t do me any good since I decided I was going to live.

The bear left the area and was not found.

“There are no efforts underway to locate the bear in this incident, as it is not considered a public safety threat at this time,” Alaska State Troopers Department of Public Safety Public Information Officer Austin McDaniel told CNN in an email.

Minish told KTUU that the bear was just walking and wasn’t doing anything wrong.

“It was just, wrong place, wrong time for me and the bear,” he told KTUU. “And everything happened so fast.”

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