November 6, 2012

Recorded Oregon bear attacks now at five after hunter is roughed up

English: Black bear in the Canadian Rockies
English: Black bear in the Canadian Rockies (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A few days ago I wrote about bear attacks in Oregon and, more specifically, how rare bear attacks are in the state. Only four recorded bear attacks have occurred in Oregon. Two of those four attacks were when hunters thought the bear they had shot was dead, only to discover it was not. Now, a fifth recorded incident in Oregon has occurred, again, involving a black bear and its hunter.
The hunter was injured when the bear he thought he had killed jumped up to attack the hunter. Alex Machado was about 10 feet away from the bear he thought was dead from a gunshot when it rose and came running at him, swiping and biting.

"(The) thing popped up and just came right at me," the 22-year-old recalled from his Medford home, where he is recovering. Machado ducked behind a tree, swiping at the bear with his hunting knives. His friend and hunting partner, Nathan Shinn, 24, fired a warning shot, which had no effect.

Range map of the American Black Bear (Ursus Am...
Range map of the American Black Bear (Ursus Americanus) updated, see: (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The bear then knocked the knives aside and bit down on Machado's arm, then his hand. He yanked his hand back and started to slip down a nearby slope. The bear bit him again on the inside of his upper leg. Both tumbled down the slope together.

Machado reached the bottom first, landing on his back. The bear hit next, its back against Machado's chest. Machado wrapped his arms around the bear's throat and squeezed as tightly as he could, screaming for Shinn to take the killshot.

Shinn shot the bear and Machado heard its final breath. He crawled out from underneath the animal and laid down about 10 feet away, trying to calm the tide of adrenaline. Shinn started making calls to 911.

Machado started walking back uphill, hoping to meet rescue workers when they came. He estimates walking about a mile and a half before getting picked up. Shinn stayed behind, trying to stay in touch with emergency services because of the spotty cell phone service.

The Jackson County Sheriff's Department tracked him to an area near Elk Creek Road and picked him up for transport to Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center for treatment. Machado's wounds required hospitalization, including several stitches.
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