Canada
2 women scare off bear attacking man

A Mother’s Day visit for bear attack victim Joe Azougar from his mom, Itto Bentayed, left of Toronto and his sister Latifa Azougar, right, also of Toronto.

Credits: QMI Agency/Len Gillis

LEN GILLIS | QMI AGENCY

TIMMINS, Ontario. -- Two Timmins, Ontario, women scared off a 400-pound black bear attacking a man after it had killed his dog and left him with wounds that needed 300 stitches.

"I could feel his teeth rubbing against my skull. That was the worst feeling ever," said Azougar, 30, said Sunday from his hospital bed at Lady Minto Hospital in Cochrane, Ontario.

Azougar was attacked and mauled by the bear early Saturday as he sat on the front step of his remote cabin eating breakfast. He was rescued by the two Timmins "angels", campers who had been driving by on a bush road and heard his screams.

They were able to scare the bear away and drive the bleeding Azougar to hospital.

"I feel good. I am in a little bit of pain, but I'm OK," said Azougar, who had been given a shot of morphine to ease the pain of the more than 300 stitches needed to close dozens of puncture wounds.

Surrounded by family and friends on Sunday, Azougar said he still plans to enjoy life in the outdoors.

He moved to Cochrane, Ontario, from Toronto last month, to set up an Internet entrepreneur business."I was having breakfast on my front porch," he said as he described the tiny eight-by-sixteen foot cabin on a remote bush road, about 10 kilometres south of Cochrane.

"Out of nowhere, I could hear this thud, this vibration on the ground," he said. "Then there was this bear coming towards me."

His German Shepherd rushed at the bear and as the two animals fought, Azougar ran into the cabin and slammed the door but the bear followed.

"He started rushing the window, breaking the window and chipping off wood beside the window," Azougar said."He made it through (the window) and I ran out," he said, with the bear in pursuit. "After about 30 metres, he took me to the ground."

Azougar said the animal slammed him down with its front paws, and began clawing and biting.

"He knocked me down and I covered my head. He took my shoulder apart, then he peeled the skin off my head and started biting my skull," Azougar recalled. "I could feel his teeth rubbing against my skull. That was the worst feeling ever. I jammed my thumb into his eye and so he went back to my shoulder."

"I was just screaming. I could feel my flesh being pulled by his teeth," he said, adding that a good portion of his scalp was torn off.

"I just thought I was dying. He was trying to drag me into the bush, like where he killed the dog."Azougar said he thought he was going to pass out, when suddenly there was a lull in the savage attack and the sound of a blaring car horn.

"Out of nowhere these two ladies showed up in a car. After that the bear ran away. I don't know who they were," Azougar said. "They just showed up out of nowhere."

"The women that saved, me, no I don't know them. I would like to know them, to meet them," Azougar said. "If you meet them, you thank those angels for me. They are my angels. Without them I wouldn't be alive."

Ontario Provincial Police and the Ministry of Natural Resources responded to the bear attack call immediately Saturday and killed the bear.


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