Bear Attack Leaves Alaska Man With Crushed Jaw, Punctured Scalp

A man suffered horrific head injuries including a crushed jaw and punctured scalp after being attacked by a brown bear while out surveying land in rural Alaska.

Allen Minish had been inputting data to his GPS during a real estate surveying trip near Gulkana, around 190 miles northeast of Anchorage, when he noticed the animal standing just 30 feet away.

The 61-year-old, from the village of Chitna, tried to hide behind spruce trees but the bear charged towards him.

He brandished the pointed end of his surveying pole but the bear simply knocked it aside.

"As he lunged up on top of me, I grabbed his lower jaw to pull him away," Minish told the Associated Press. "He tossed me aside there, grabbed a quarter of my face."

Minish continued: "He took a small bite and then he took a second bite, and the second bite is the one that broke the bones ... and crushed my right cheek basically."

After the roughly 10-second assault by the bear, which Minish estimated weighed at least 300-pounds—and probably more—the animal walked away.

Minish called 911 and had to wait almost an hour until emergency crews reached him.

He spent that time worrying that the bear would return, saying he "kept hearing stuff." Minish described feeling dizzy each time he looked up due to the loss of blood.

"He didn't come back, and so I just lay there and worried about it," Minish said.

He was then taken to a nearby airport and airlifted to hospital in Anchorage.

Once there he underwent surgery lasting more than four hours.

Speaking from the hospital, Minish said he had left his gun in his vehicle but that the bear attacked so quickly that the weapon would have been useless anyway. He said one lesson he had learnt, however, was to survey land with another person in future.

"I should have had somebody with me," he said.

Police later said they had been unable to locate the bear.

In a statement released after Tuesday's mauling, the Alaska State Troopers said Minish had been "surveying alone near milepost 117 Richardson HWY, approximately a half mile off the roadway when he unknowingly walked up on an adult brown bear."

"The bear charged and attacked him causing puncture wounds and lacerations to his head," the statement said.

"After the brief encounter, the bear left the area and there was no indication that the bear was harmed in the incident. Minish is being treated for serious injuries at an Anchorage hospital."

Brown bears fishing for salmon
Brown bears fishing for salmon at Brooks Falls on September 17, 2018 in Katmai National Park, Alaska. The mauled man underwent lengthy surgery in Anchorage. Ronald C. Modra/Getty Images