Man fights off huge bear to save family from being attacked

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Man fights off huge bear to save family from being attacked
Man fights off huge bear to save family from being attacked

A 48-year-old man from Alaska fought off an aggressive brown bear using his hands and a piece of bird watching equipment after the animal ran at his family on the Kenai peninsula in southern Alaska.

Tony Burke was on a bird watching trip with his wife Laura and their three children, when they saw a bear in the distance and decided to stay away from it.

But before they knew it, the family turned around and saw the animal running towards them.

ABC News reports that 11-year-old Grace Burke yelled: "The bear is coming, it's coming towards us!"

"We were raising our arms and made loud noises," Laura Burke said. "That's supposed to scare the bear away. Instead of running away, it came right towards us."

Tony shouted for his wife and family to get behind him.

According to the Huffington Post, Tony threw his bird watching telescope in the bear's mouth, but it snapped it in two. He then used the sharp end to stab the bear in the face. The bear knocked the broken telescope from Tony's hand and clamped its jaws on his arm.

Tony defended himself by punching the bear in the face with the other hand.

The bear then hit Burke in the ribcage before giving up and walking away.

It was later shot when two Alaska State Troopers said it came running out of the woods towards them.

But wildlife officials say this was bizarre behaviour from the bear and after examination found that the bear showed signs of blindness.

Wildlife biologist Jeff Selinger told Anchorage Daily News the bear had an empty stomach and damaged eyes.

He said: "In general, they can act very confused, disoriented, unsure of what's going on, and all that can lead to erratic behaviour.

"We don't know for certain if that alone did it. Obviously, there were several incidents with various people down there, and that could've gotten the bear worked up and more confused."

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