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Army veteran miraculously survives grizzly bear attack with stroke of luck that saved his life in 'most violent' plight ever
JeannetteKatzir via iStock / Getty Images Plus

Army veteran miraculously survives grizzly bear attack with stroke of luck that saved his life in 'most violent' plight ever

The bear chewed on his leg, then picked him up, and slammed him on the ground.

A Massachusetts man was severely injured in a gruesome bear attack at a Wyoming national park, which he described as the "most violent" plight in his life. However, the Army veteran miraculously survived the bear mauling by an astonishing stroke of luck.

Shayne Patrick Burke – a 35-year-old military veteran from Massachusetts – was hiking up Signal Mountain in Wyoming's Grand Teton National Park last Sunday. He was "looking to photograph a Great Grey Owl."

Burke said he noticed a bear cub near him and knew that it "wasn’t good."

All of the sudden, he was confronted with a "surprise encounter" with a mother grizzly bear who came "charging toward him."

He attempted to shout at the bear to try to deter a confrontation.

"I had a really uncomfortable feeling. I was breaking branches, singing, and talking to myself aloud. These are something’s that can help prevent a 'surprise encounter' with a brown bear," Burke said.

"When she pounced I opted to turn and give her my back and I laid down in the prone position on my belly and braced for the ride, interlocking my hands behind my neck to protect my vitals," he wrote in an Instagram post.

The grizzly bear first chomped and slashed his back and right shoulder.

The bear chewed on the leg of Burke, then picked him up, and slammed him on the ground multiple times.

The mother bear allegedly bit his leg from his buttocks to his inner knee about three times.

"I believe she went in for a kill bite on my neck. I still had my hands interlocked and my arms protecting my carotid arteries. I never let go of the bear spray can," Burke explained.

Suddenly, Burke was the beneficiary of a stroke of luck that saved his life.

"As she bit my hands in the back of my neck, she simultaneously bit the bear spray can and it exploded in her mouth," Burke said. "This is what saved my life from the initial attack. I heard her run away, I looked up and instantly ran in the opposite direction up a hill."

Burke applied "improvised tourniquets" to his legs to "slow the bleeding" after the animal attack. He added that his legs were "not really working."

Burke called 911 and stayed on the phone so they could triangulate his location.

A rescue helicopter was able to locate him and rescue him.

"Once the helicopter spotted me, I tried to crawl to a clearing so they could reach me easier," he stated. "At this time, the first ranger showed up and started his assessment. Hypothermia was one of the biggest concerns at this point. I was alert and responsive."

Burke was transported for surgery to St. John’s Medical Center in Jackson, Wyoming.

The bear attack was the 'most violent' plight he had ever experienced

Despite being mutilated in the bear attack, Burke has no ill feelings against the bear.

"I love and respect wildlife. Anyone who knows me knows this about me," Burke stated.

He petitioned park rangers not to kill the bear because she was "defending her cub."

"What happened up on Signal Mountain was a case of wrong place, wrong time," he said. "Sunday afternoon, I was attacked by a mother grizzly protecting her cub."

Burke pointed out that despite being a disabled Army veteran who had "experienced being shot at, mortared, and IED explosions," this bear attack was the "most violent thing" he had ever experienced.

(WARNING: Graphic images)

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Paul Sacca

Paul Sacca

Paul Sacca is a staff writer for Blaze News.
@Paul_Sacca →