A 66-year-old Alaska man survived a grizzly bear mauling and was able to walk 900 yards—that's half a mile—to his homestead despite serious injuries. In the attack earlier this week, Andre Siegenthaler "suffered bites to his right hip area, both shoulders, and arms; his left cheek was torn open, right ear mangled, and nerve damage to the right cheek," his wife tells KTUU. He had gone to pick up nails from a neighbor and although he was carrying bear spray, he didn't have time to pull it out when the bear "attacked with no warning from behind a spruce tree"; it was on him within two bounds, the neighbor says. Siegenthaler was flown to the hospital from the community of Slana, around 250 miles northeast of Anchorage, and officials say his injuries are serious but not life-threatening.
Officials say bear attacks in the area only happen around once a year, although close calls are a lot more common, the Anchorage Daily News reports. Another close bear encounter in Alaska ended without injury last weekend, when a black bear literally crashed a 1-year-old's birthday party in Juneau. The bear fell through a skylight, landed in the living room in front on the infant's startled parents, and helped itself to the little boy's birthday cupcakes before the couple were able to shoo it out of the house, the Juneau Empire reports. (Last month, an Alaska woman mauled by a bear was able to walk two miles to safety after the attack.)