If you’ve been following outdoor news over the last couple of days, you’ve no doubt heard the story of Todd Orr, the hiker from Bozeman, Montana who survived not one but two attacks from a grizzly bear sow with two cubs earlier this week.
If you haven’t, it’s quite an amazing story, and it can really teach us a lot about the importance of staying calm in a survival situation.
Check out the excerpt below from Orr’s Facebook page:
…I went to my face in the dirt and wrapped my arms around the back of my neck for protection. 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, I carefully picked myself up. I was alive and able to walk so I headed back down the trail towards the truck 3 miles below … I wanted to keep moving and put distance between us.
About five or ten minutes down the trail, I heard a sound and turned to find the Griz bearing down at 30 feet. She either followed me back down the trail or cut through the trees and randomly came out on the trail right behind me. Whatever the case, she was instantly on me again…
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 … I knew that moving would trigger more bites so a laid motionless hoping it would end.
She suddenly stopped and just stood on top of me … For thirty seconds she stood there crushing me. My chest was smashed into the ground and forehead in the dirt. When would the next onslaught of biting began. I didn’t move.
And then she was gone…
Read the full post below:
It was Orr’s masterful survival skills and ability to remain calm under pressure that kept him alive that day. Not only did lying still prevent the bear from doing further damage, but staying calm allowed him to not only hike all the way back to his truck, but drive himself to the hospital — all with a broken arm and multiple puncture wounds.
Orr’s calm demeanor throughout the ordeal can be seen in this video he recorded shortly after the attacks:
Keep these tips in mind if you hike, camp or live in an area where bears are common:
- As Todd did, make your presence known while hiking by making noise and shouting. This may scare away any bears in the area.
- If you see a bear, keep your distance. Move away calmly and slowly. Do not make any sudden noises or movements.
- If you encounter a bear, identify yourself by speaking calmly but firmly.
- Stand firmly and wave your arms. Help the bear recognize you as human.
- If a bear begins making aggressive sounds or movements, stay calm and continue to stand firm and speak in an even tone. Do not make loud, squealing sounds. Do not move quickly.
If you are attacked by a bear, do exactly as Todd Orr did: leave your pack on and play dead. Protect your head and neck by covering them with your arms. Spread your legs so it’s harder for the bear to turn you over. Remain still and calm until the bear leaves the area.
(Information courtesy of the click here.)
To learn more about animal attacks and how to survive them, check out our article on the read here.
This Article Was First Found at survivallife.com essays evolution of cognitive psychology