Sunday, June 04, 2006

Kinder, Gentler Than Your Average Bear

In Homer Alaska, the Reginald Denny of joggers says, the grizzlies have to be cruel to be kind:

[Mike] Mungoven and the bear stared at each other momentarily, and then the bear reacted.

"The bear got me across the shoulder first, then took a couple more swipes at me," he said. "I went down and curled up into a fetal position."

It was a move that Mungoven had been taught many times, and possibly what saved his life.

"It really worked pretty well," he said. "I just played dead. The bear came back and bit me a couple more times and then left me alone."

Mungoven said he speculated that the bear was possibly a female protecting her cubs, as he thought he heard some mewing sounds coming from the woods behind her.

"I really think the bear actually showed quite a bit of kindness in the way she mauled me," Mungoven said.

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