A pensioner had a death-defying escape when he fought off a raging brown bear with his bare knuckles when a fishing trip went wrong.
The remarkable hand-to-claw struggle happened in northern Russia, by a lake surrounded by forest.
Pensioner Mitrofan Tretryakov, 69, was seriously wounded and completely floored by his ordeal, after being ambushed by the beast weighing one-third of a tonne.
As he was clawed and bitten, the brave OAP fought for his life “barehanded” and he won.
The bear retreated into the forest, and the pensioner managed to use his phone to summon the emergency services near the Arctic town of Srednekolymsk.
Mitrofan – wearing waders and believed to have been fishing in a lake – is shown soon after the attack with a head wound and covered by the jacket of a rescuer.
“I wish I had a rifle on me,” he told paramedics, conscious enough to explain how he had fought off the bear.
He did not give more details of his encounter and how he managed to scare off the bear.
A hunting team was sent to track and kill the beast after its attack on a human.
His remarkable survival comes during a summer of increasing bear attacks on people in Russia.
Some experts blame unusually hot weather which stopped the growing of their food sources – for example nuts and berries – and resulting in vast wildfires in the Russian north.
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Bears have encroached on towns and villages to scavenge for food.
Mitrofan feels “weak” after his ordeal and expects to spend up to two more weeks at hospital.
“Today the patient was able to have a little walk about his room,” said a spokesman for the health ministry in Yakutia region.
“His condition is satisfactory despite complaints of feeling weak.
“The overall recovery forecast is good.
“It is too soon to speak about checking him out, but if he continues to get better at a pace he is doing now, we will let him go in a couple of weeks.”
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