Thursday, October 11, 2007

What's bigger than a college lineman?

(Image courtesy of Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management, a nonprofit, grant-funded site that provides research-based information on how to responsibly handle wildlife damage problems.)

I missed this AP story yesterday. Ouch!

BILLINGS, Mont. — A Carroll College student is recovering from a severed hamstring and other injuries suffered when he was mauled by a grizzly bear while bow hunting for elk over the weekend.

Roman Morris, a freshman wide receiver, said he was crouched on a hillside north of Gardiner at dawn Saturday when a female grizzly that was walking by turned and attacked him.

Over the next 30 to 45 seconds, Morris fought with the bear as it bit and clawed, severed his left hamstring, punctured his shoulder, chomped at his head and tossed him around.

“I thought the whole time, This is so messed up. I’m going to die, I’m going to die,’” said Morris, a pre-med major.

The bear ran off after a friend fired a pistol. Morris underwent surgery at a Livingston hospital and was recuperating Monday at his brother’s house in Helena.

“I still have a pretty dang good headache from the whole thing,” he told The Billings Gazette in a telephone interview.

Morris said as he and the bear slid downhill, he held the bear’s head and pounded away with his fist. “I put everything I had into it. It didn’t budge at all,” said Morris, who is 6 feet, 2 inches, and 205 pounds.

Morris said he tried to play dead, but also kept pushing the bear away as it bit and slapped at him. Finally, the grizzly tore into his left leg — leaving a deep 9-inch gash — and tossed him, perhaps five to eight feet, he said.

“I don’t know how you can stay still when it sinks its teeth into you,” Morris said.

A section of Yellowstone National Park west of Gardiner has been temporarily closed due to the attack, park officials said. The same area of the park was closed Sept. 14-18 after another bow hunter was mauled by a bear.

No comments: