Kim Wunderlich was out bowhunting when he found two bear cubs staring at him from just a few meters (yards) away, which meant their mother couldn’t be far behind. Suddenly the furious mom darted out of the forest and charged at Kim. The huge bear hit him so hard they started rolling down the hill. Would he be crushed under the bear’s body weight? Or would he survive long enough to fight it at the bottom of the hill? Grizzly bears are a North American subspecies of brown bears. And it’s scary that brown bear attacks are increasing all over the planet. Between 2000 and 2015, there were more than 660 attacks worldwide, and 183 were in North America. This is why we put together a list of the top three most fantastic grizzly bear attack stories, and the lessons you can learn from them to survive if you face an angry 360 kg (800 lb) grizzly bear. How did one survivor endure two bear attacks in a row? Is playing dead a good strategy? Or does it just make you an easy kill?

Number 3: The double attack

It wasn’t the hunting season in Montana yet, but the experienced hunter, Todd Orr, wanted to scout for elk. He was prepared and carried a pistol and bear spray. So when he stepped into a meadow and found a mother bear with her two cubs, and she started charging at him, he quickly grabbed his bear spray. But it didn’t stop her. She jumped on top of him and started biting his arms and shoulder. Todd laid face down, protecting his head and neck with his arms. When the bear was sure Todd wasn’t a threat, she went back to her cubs and disappeared into the woods.” Todd was injured. But he managed to go back to the trail and took the road back to his car. A few minutes later, he realized that he had taken the same path as the bears. When the momma bear saw him, she was really furious. She charged at him angrily. Todd repeated his strategy and played dead. The bear broke his arm and cut tendons in his forearms, but he remained calm. Finally, the beast left him for dead. This time, Todd waited longer before getting up and going to his car. He was seriously injured, but he managed to walk 4.5 km (3 mi) to his car and drive one hour to the nearest hospital.

Number 2: The bowhunter

Do you remember Kim? The guy who was falling off a hill with a mother bear? They fell down a 20 m (21.8 yd) hill. When they stopped, the bear bit him on the upper inner thigh. As an experienced hunter, he knew that he must remain still and calm. He didn’t move until he heard the bear return with its cubs. He was seriously injured but his friends managed to help him to the hospital and he survived. Now, before we reveal our number one story, let’s see what we’ve learned so far. These last two survivors were experienced hunters, and they knew the golden rule for surviving a grizzly attack: play dead. Brown bears don’t usually attack humans for food. Instead, they do it when they feel threatened or are starving. So you have to convince the bear that you are not a threat. To play dead, stay in the fetal position to protect your organs. Cover your head with your arms. And be still. No matter how painful the attack is, stay down and still. When the bear leaves, you’ll need to stay down for up to 20 minutes. Then, leave in the opposite direction to the bear. Unfortunately, the people in our next story didn’t know this rule.

Number 1: The Saddest Hike

Brian and Marylyn Matayoshi were hiking in Yellowstone National Park when they saw a mother bear with her two cubs. They stopped to take some pictures and decided to keep hiking. Some minutes later, they found the bears again. This time, the mom started following them. Brian panicked and told his wife to run. They only ran about 155 m (508 ft) before the bear reached Brian. Marylyn jumped behind a fallen trunk. She heard the bear mauling her husband, but she stayed still on the ground. After it killed Brian, the bear went to Marylyn. She remained still, so the bear left. Marylyn escaped with no serious injuries, but Brian didn’t survive. Grizzly bears are amazing and scary creatures. But if you stay calm and don’t look like a threat, you can survive an encounter.

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