An Alaska man says it’s a miracle that he survived a terrifying attack by a brown bear while trekking with his family in Southeastern Alaska.
On May 13, Kenny Steck, his wife Hannah, and six family members were out for a hike in the beautiful Alaskan wilderness when he stopped to fill up water bottles and came face-to-face with a brown bear.
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According to ABC News, Steck is an experienced outdoorsman but had left his bear repellent back at camp when he went just 200 feet away to get the water, he told KTVA11.
“I was about halfway back from the waterfall to the camp and I just heard loud snapping and break of branches. I immediately turned around and the brown bear was charging me at what I believe was a full sprint.”
Before he could react, the massive brown bear charged Steck and attacked, leaving him feeling like his fate was not left up to him.
“It was a feeling of complete hopelessness and helplessness, really. I felt like I couldn’t do anything to make it stop or make the outcome change.”
All Steck could think to do to ward off the brown bear’s attack was to lift his leg up to protect himself, which was clawed by the beast. Knowing that making a lot of noise is one of the best methods of scaring off a bear attack, Steck tried yelling, which only aggravated the bear.
“I didn’t feel pain initially. The pain came later and I just remember feeling scared and totally helpless. I felt like an ant and I felt like the bear was a wrecking ball.”
An Alaska man says he feels lucky to be alive after coming face-to-face with a brown bear https://t.co/aO1Sdjbri5
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Before he knew it, the bear crushed his shoulder and put Steck’s head in his mouth.
“All I could do was just hope and pray. It was terrifying.”
Just as quickly, the brown bear released Steck and ran off.
Left alive but wounded, Steck was treated on the scene by his wife and three other family members on the trip, who are nurses and were able to treat his wounds immediately, staunching the blood coming from his wounds.
Steck suffered injuries to his leg, shoulder, and head, but the bear miraculously stopped short of biting into his skull, according to his wife Hannah.
“We consider it a miracle. It wasn’t Kenny’s time to go last Friday. We don’t understand it…. But we are really thankful for it.”
Steck still relives the horror of the attack and considers himself lucky to be alive.
“I remember thinking this thing is going to kill me. I remember thinking that I was going to die today and I remember thinking my wife is going to be left without me.”
Thankfully, Steck is expected to make a full recovery from the brown bear attack. He spent four days at Providence Medical Center before being released.
“I’m going to be able to walk just fine in a couple month. I’m already using a crutch. I’m going to be able to do things I never thought I would do again.”
Steck has a long road of recovery ahead of him but says his faith and family are what keep him motivated.
Steck’s attack is the third bear mauling reported to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game so far this year, Ken Marsh, a spokesman for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, told ABC News.
All three attacks involved brown bears or grizzly bears, Marsh said.
[Image via Shutterstock]