ALASKA GEOLOGIST SURVIVES 2 ATTACKS BY GRIZZLY
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The bearded, sandy-haired geologist was on a job in the remote Alaska wilderness when a grizzly bear suddenly emerged from the brush just yards away.
So Robert Miller did what he was trained to do — he fell to the ground, clasped his hands around his neck to protect it and played dead.
Robert Miller, 54, recovers from a bear attack in his hospital room in Anchorage, Alaska, on Wednesday, June 23, 2010. The bear attack occurred June 20 as Miller, a Millrock Resources Inc. geologist working near Rainy Pass in the Alaska Range, waited for a helicopter to pick him up. Miller was using a small handsaw to clear brush so the helicopter could land when the bear emerged from the brush about 25 feet away. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)
Miller was fortunate to have survived, said Rick Sinnott, an Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologist.
He should have been packing a more powerful gun, Sinnott said. "You have to be a very good shot or very lucky to stop a brown bear with a .357 Magnum."
This I knew - .357 barely gets you into the club considering the size of those monsters they grow up there in Alaska. - S.L.
Miller did the right thing to play dead with the grizzly, Sinnott said.
"Most of the time they just want to neutralize you and if you are playing dead after they swat you or hit you, you are pretty much neutralized. But if you try to run or stand right up or are screaming or waving your arms around, then they think you are still a danger," he said.
This I DIDN'T know - but it makes perfect sense, when you think about it, and it almost worked the first time until he got up. We've got bears around here but they keep to themselves for the most part. I teach my kids to keep good situational awareness about themselves when they're in the woods - good general advice anytime, in any kind of environment - especially when picking berries; that is the most dangerous time you might find yourself between Mama Bear and her cubs. - S.L.