Winnipeg man 'grateful to be alive' after bear attack near Rice Lake in Kenora
September 28, 2019
September 28, 2019 3:54 PM EDT
Black bear. (Postmedia Network file photo)
The 69-year-old Winnipeg man attacked by a black bear while walking on Rice Lake Road Thursday morning is alive and resting in his Kenora cabin.
Dave Schwab suffered injuries on this thigh and arm. He said his leg was in a lot of pain but that he’s “very grateful to be alive.”
Schwab was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries and told paramedics he had been attacked by a black bear.
“I’ve been around this place for years and years and never had any problems with bears,” he told the Kenora Daily Miner and News Friday afternoon.
Schwab said the bear was stalking him as he walked down the road. He began walking backwards, looking at the bear who was seven or eight metres away from him. Then, the bear lunged, grabbing onto his thigh.
“I took my two thumbs and pushed down underneath his neck, on the soft spot,” he said.
The bear retreated, then attacked again, latching onto his arm. Schwab said he hit him in the snout with a large branch he’d been carrying, and the bear retreated again. He continued walking backwards on the towards his cabin, which he said was 50 to 75 metres away. The bear was still there.
In the distance, he noticed two construction workers working on a cabin nearby. He began calling for help, at which point he said they quickly got into their truck, pulled him in and drove him to the hospital in Kenora.
He didn’t disclose the name of the men, awaiting their approval to do so, but credited them with saving his life.
“Those guys are heroes,” he said.
According to Schwab, the Ministry of Natural Resources described what the bear was doing as “stalking.” Police say the bear that was responsible for the attack was killed.
“I hate see animals shot, but it had to happen,” said Schwab. “This was a rogue predatory bear. Once they get a taste of blood, they can’t stop.”
The MNR is continuing with the investigation.
Kenora OPP are reminding the public to use extreme caution when encountering bears.
If you see a bear call Bear Wise at 1-866-514-2327 or 911 for emergencies.
Non-emergency encounters include; a bear roams and checks garbage, breaks into shed where garbage or food is stored, pulls down bird feeder or moves through back yard.
If an emergency situation arrives call 911 immediately. Emergency situations include; a bear enters a school yard, enters or tries to enter residence, wanders into public gathering, stalks people and lingers, or kills livestock/pets.