Bear Mauling Victim Recovering
Encountered brown bear on his Eagle River property
ANCHORAGE - An Eagle River man mauled by a brown bear over the weekend is still in the hospital, but 57-year-old Howard Meyer says he's grateful to be alive.
“I was screaming at the bear, basically screaming at myself, you know, and thinking this is the end,” Meyer said Tuesday.
It was all Meyer could think about when he stumbled on a bear on his property over the weekend and had a hostile encounter that he never expected.
"I never expected to run into a bear to tell you the truth – not something I thought would happen."
Meyer thinks he may have surprised the bear while walking through thick brush on the edge of his property. He said he looked up and there it was, and he gave into his instincts and ran.
"[It was] pretty hard not to run, but I understand why they tell you not to. But it's hard not to. Fortunately I tripped and fell, because I wasn't going to get away, there was no doubt about it."
Meyer landed on his stomach, and then did his best to protect vital organs.
"I was trying to protect my head, and all that was really available to it was my back, and it got my back."
Meyer was lucky that his wounds were mostly superficial. He got several stitches, and was badly bruised and is still pretty sore. He is ready to go home, but is planning to be better prepared.
"I won't be nervous to go back to the property, but I am going to be a little more restrained in my hikes around and I am to definitely be having pepper spray with me… guarantee I'll have that.”
Fish and Game have no plan to shoot the bear, and Meyer is fine with that, because to him it was just a bear being a bear.