Like many people who stumble into awkward situations, Dan Richman had no idea what he was walking into while hiking in the Sierra Madre foothills in California.
The 54-year old was attacked by a bear that officials believe was most likely mating when Richman surprised the angry couple.
Richmond saw the first bear, which was 50 to 100 feet away, standing on it’s hind legs, and immediately turned around to leave. “I was pretty freaked out, he said.
Unfortunately, as soon as he turned around, he noted a second bear was much closer. He yelled to scare it off – it didn’t work – and tried to run by it, which is when the bear attacked, nocking Richmond down and putting it’s jaws around his neck while he was playing dead.
“He first grabbed my wrist, put his mouth around the back of my neck. I just stayed really, really still,” Richman told the LA Times. “It was the only chance I had. It’s hard to imagine until one attacks you and you just feel the strength in its jaws and its body.”
Luckily playing dead worked and Richmond was able to escape and run to safety, where he realized he sustained several injuries to his head, eggs, feet and torso.
“The hiker probably just surprised the bears and they reacted the way an animal with teeth and claws does, attack,” said Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Andrew Hughan.
The bears “may have been a mating pair that was interrupted,” he continued.