Russian Bear: 80-Year-Old Man Falls Off Cliff Fighting Beast

Tuesday, 05 Nov 2013 11:24 AM

By Michael Mullins

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An 80-year-old Russian man fought off a bear, fell off a cliff, and lived to tell the story.

Yusuf Alchagirov was in a raspberry field in the southern Russian region of Kabardino-Balkaria last week when he was startled by a large, apparently hungry, bear.

Realizing his options were limited, the man decided the best one was to confront the bear head on, kicking and head-butting the animal and in the process managing to knock the bear off balance, Britain's Guardian reported.

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The bear, however, quickly regained its footing and fought back against the 80-year-old man, pushing him off a nearby cliff.

Despite being struck several times by the bear and falling off a cliff, Alchagirov managed to survive and is currently recovering at a local hospital with multiple bruises and bite wounds to his body and four broken ribs.

"I got off easy. It would have killed me if I'd chickened out," the fierce Alchagirov told local media, according to the Guardian.

The bear was not pursued by authorities, who tell Russian media that the animal was most likely playing with Alchagirov, and is not considered a threat.

There have been numerous bear attacks recorded in the region, Russian experts told the Guardian, with most occurring when the animal is either extremely hungry or provoked by a person.

In some cases, bears have been known to even approach villages in the area in search of food after recent flooding destroyed much of their food sources. Consequently, local villagers have resorted to instituting a program that allowed residents to shoot the scavenging animals due to the potential risk they bring with them.

Despite Alchagirov having been able to survive the attack by confronting the bear head-on, Mother Nature Network recommends that the best action a person can take when they encounter a bear in the wild is to play dead.

By playing dead, the bear will likely attempt to "neutralize you as a threat," and might linger in the area for around 20 minutes, but it you have a better chance of surviving the encounter when compared with trying to fight it off considering its size and natural weapons.

If however you cannot play dead and must engage the bear, the environmental news site advices you to aim for the bear's nose and eyes when fighting back, which are among its most sensitive areas on the face.

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Above all else, when walking through areas where bears are known to reside, the site advises you to carry a can of bear spray – a type of pepper spray, that when aimed at a bear's face can be a more effective deterrent than two shotgun rounds, according to the Mother Nature Network.

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