Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Man is attacked by a bear, and wolves.
Wolf attacks don't happen very often, in fact, in the last 50 years only 17 fatalities have been reported worldwide, when they do it is usually a wolf that has seen one too many people. Bear attacks don't happen very often, either, you‘re 12 times more likely to die from a bee sting. This is the story of one unfortunate man, who had to face both at once. However unlikely the odds are, the truth about it is much more unusual.
It was early in the evening one late winter day. Darnell Watson was hiking along some previously unexplored trails in near the Methow River in northern Washington. All of a sudden he was surprised by a bear as he rested on a log eating some beef jerky. During this encounter, he just stopped and stared at the monstrous grizzly bear. The bear gazed straight back at him, seemingly eyeing his soul. As the man started to slowly back away, he heard a low growl coming from behind him, and then a second. He thought he was trapped in the middle of a family of bears, right in between a mother and her cubs. His horrible situation may have just gotten worse.
As he slowly turned around, he noticed three wolves on an embankment a few feet in front of him. He swallowed hard, turned to the bear and gazed right into it's eyes with a solid resolve saved only for the most hardened men, and Janet Reno. The first thing that went through his head, was which one would be faster, which one would end his suffering first. Then he thought, "No." He stared the bear square in the eyes, as fiercely as possible. That's when he noticed the bear, looking just as fiercely at him, almost gazing straight through him. That's when he knew, it was him and the bear, in it for the long haul.
He turned his back to the bear and slowly began to back towards it. Standing side by side, they prepared for the most difficult fight of their lives. By this time, five more wolves appeared through the brush. Darnell swallowed hard, trying to process what was undoubtedly about to happen. He and the bear gave each other a knowing look. The bear lunged and swung one of its massive paws, taking out the three wolves on the embankment. Another wolf clamped onto the bear's shoulder and help on tight. That's when Darnell made a leaping roll, picking up a large hefty log, and smashed the attacking wolf in the head. The wolf fell with a whimper, and he continued to pound at the wolf's skull with all the rage he has ever known. The bear went after another wolf, taking it into his strong jaws and instantly snapping it's spine.
Darnell swung the log wildly, hitting two of the remaining wolves, keeping them at bay. The bear tore into one of the wolves, ripping it apart almost instantly. That is when one of the remaining wolves let out a howl that would strike fear into any man. And pounced towards the Darnell, gripping tight onto his left arm. As the man struggled with the wolf, he could feel his shoulder separating, further and further. Finally, the wolf took his arm clean off. Stunned, and still in shock, the man grabbed his own arm from the wolf. The wolf was confused, almost in awe over this feat of strength. The man started thrashing at the wolf, wildly and without regard. He pummeled the wolf with his own severed arm. The remaining wolf fled, the bear followed, although not before looking back at the man with one final glance of appreciation, and understanding.
The man amazingly survived, walking 8 miles to the ranger station he had passed hours before. He held his arm under his remaining appendage, soaked in the blood of bear, wolf, and man. They were able to reattach his severed limb, and he has since regained full functionality of it. The rangers called him lucky. He only said he was lucky the bear was there. If it wouldn’t have been for his partner, he would surely have been taken by the wolves.
To this day Darnell still hikes along the forgotten trails and streams of northern Washington. The only thing that has changed is he now carries a full-auto AR-15, everywhere.