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‘Please Don’t Kill the Bear’: Grizzly-Attack Survivor Says Bear Spray Saved His Life

A female grizzly bear attacked 35-year-old Shayne Patrick last month while he was on his honeymoon in Grand Teton National Park. Patrick unknowingly came between the cub and its mother, and in the split second he had before the bear took him down, he knew he was in trouble. Though he couldn’t deploy his bear spray in time, it still managed to save his life.

In an interview with ABC News affiliate WPVI, Patrick describes the harrowing moment. He ducked and covered, trying to protect his vital organs as the bear grabbed him. At one point during the attack, Patrick says he heard a pop. The bear had bitten into the can of bear spray he had in his hands, and it did its job.

Patrick was left in a pepper-spray haze, but he was alive. He was able to get ahold of his wife, an ENT. She instructed him to makeshift tourniquets for his wounded legs. When help arrived, Patrick begged the first responders, “Please don’t kill the bear.”

Read Patrick’s account of the grizzly bear attack (continued in the comments section) here, including the type of bear spray he had on board:

He wrote: “The number one thing that kept me alive during the attack was reading and understanding what to do in the event of a bear attack and being prepared with the bear spray. Though I am not sure if I got to spray any at the bear, having it on me and keeping it in my hands while protecting my vitals 100% is the only reason I am telling my story now.”

Thankfully, Patrick and the bear both walked away from the encounter. In Patrick’s words, the bear was just “defending her cub.”

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