Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Photog survives bear attack

From the AP:
A nature photographer mauled last week by a sow grizzly in Yellowstone National Park had no time to use spray, a friend said Sunday.

Jim Cole "does remember trying to grab his bear spray," Michael Sanders said. "He said that he assumed that he startled the bear and the bear startled him."

Cole remains in Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls. He was flown there after the attack, underwent surgery Thursday and was in serious condition Sunday. Work included reinserting his left eye, knocked out by the bear, Sanders said.

Park officials have said Cole, 57, of Bozeman, was photographing bears Wednesday in prime habitat in Hayden Valley. He was hiking alone, off a trail, and was two or three miles from a road when the female bear with a single cub attacked.

Cole reported that the bear "came out of nowhere."

The bear also seriously damaged facial bones and skin, Sanders said. Cole reported that he was not photographing the bear before the attack.

It was the second time Cole has been attacked by a grizzly. In 1993, he surprised a young bear in Montana's Glacier National Park. That bear tore a hole in Cole's scalp and broke his wrist before a friend used pepper spray.

Cole wrote about the experience in his 2004 book, "Lives of Grizzlies: Montana and Wyoming." "I figured this was as traumatic an experience for the young bruin as it was for me," he wrote.


Anonymous said...

I'm not sure I would try for a third! Beautiful as the bears are, I would learn to photograph marmots or butterflies.

Dena Rosenberry said...

Interesting, that he recommends others only try to photograph bears from roadways - while in their cars.

I hope he recovers, but, sheesh, perhaps it is time to concentrate on subjects without teeth, claws and large muscles.

Stephen Colbert said...

Agreed. These bears are Godless killing machines.