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'The beauty of Siberia took me by surprise'
Ian Frazier, 2013

Man fought off a bear with his bare hands, then gushing blood walked 6 km to summon aid

By The Siberian Times reporter
11 August 2017

Mushroom picker Alexander Lopukhin, 44, said he was certain he would die.

'The main thing is that I do not have any fear.' Picture: 66.ru

The attack from an angry female bear with a cub came suddenly as the Sverdlovsk man did what millions of Russians do at the time of year - collected mushrooms in a forest. 

'I already collected half a bucket of mushrooms, and walked, looking for more under my feet,' he said.

'Suddenly I looked up - there was a bear in front of me... when she got to her feet, she was taller than me.'

He was unarmed, and had only a penknife with him to cut the mushrooms. The bear quickly knocked away the knife and Alexander cowered under the assault from the aggressive brown bear. 

Alexander Lopukhin


Alexander Lopukhin


Alexander Lopukhin

Mushroom picker Alexander Lopukhin, 44, was 'convinced he would die', then punched the surprised beast on the muzzle. Pictures: 66.ru, URA.ru

'She rushed at me and began to bite my head,' he said.

The tip of his nose was almost severed. 

'She started to bite and tear him,' said a police source. 'The mushroomer could do nothing, he just covered head with his hands. 

'At some point, Lopukhin realised that he was going to die. 

'Then, in despair, he grabbed the bear by the head with his left hand and punched its muzzle with his right hand.'

Koshai

The attack has happened in Sverdlovsk region, not far from Koshai village. Picture: Esosedi 

Alexander said: 'For some reason, it was not scary. I pushed her away, and her hair, I noticed, was so nice - very, very soft. 

'We fought for about ten minutes, then I started to punch her in the muzzle'.

The beast got so surprised by the attack, it pulled away. 

'Having received such a rebuff, shocked from surprise, bear sat down nearby and let the mushroom picker go,' said the policeman.

'Then she fled. And the bear cub fled with her.' 

Alexander Lopukhin


Injures

His reaction looking back - as he puffed on a cigarette - was what you'd expect from a real Siberian man. 'Honestly, I'm not afraid at all. I even liked this somehow - my emotions are unforgettable!' Picture: The Siberian Times

Alexander said: 'I waited until she walked away, got up, took a bucket of mushrooms and went towards my house. 

'Blood was gushing from all my wounds, and I badly wanted to sleep. 

'But I realised that I had to hold on and move forward. I managed to walk six kilometres.'

Here his cell phone was in coverage, so Alexander called a friend to come and rescue him.

'At night I was taken to the ambulance in Serov and had my wounds treated.' 

Mother bear

The bear obviously attacked because her cub was nearby. Picture: Igor Shpilenok

His reaction looking back - as he puffed on a cigarette - was what you'd expect from a real Siberian man.

'Honestly, I wasn't afraid. I even liked it as my emotions were unforgettable! 

'Animals do not attack people unless they are touched or provoked. But, of course, there are exceptions.

'Among animals, too, there are psychos, they just have no mental hospitals unlike us. 

'The main thing is that I do not have any fear.'

He vowed: 'As soon as I get out of the hospital, I'll go back to the forest for the mushrooms.' 

Nor is it his first encounter with a bear when out picking mushrooms.

mushrooms

'As soon as I get out of the hospital, I'll go back to the forest for the mushrooms.' Picture: The Siberian Times

'I had come across bears three times in the forest, this was the fourth,' he said. 'Before, everything ended peacefully and we just went in different directions. 

'This was a mother bear, she attacked because of the cub.' 

A hospital spokesman said: 'The victim has multiple cuts of the head and upper limbs, a large lacerated wound of the right hand, and right ear. 

'The tip of the nose was bitten off; we sewed it back. His body was badly scratched, too, but his life is out of danger.' 

Comments (4)

Just singing loudly or occasionally shouting "hey bear" while you pick will let bears know you're near. You will sound unnatural and will be avoided. I have hiked, kayaked, and canoed extensively in Alaska and though I do carry bear spray I have never needed it. I too find his noticing how soft the bear's fur is so soft while it claws him as pretty cool.
Steve, Olympia, WA
14/08/2017 04:44
2
0
c'est le portrait d'un homme trés courageux d'affronter un ours, et pouvoir s'en sauver, chose que je n'ai pas encore vue depuis 94 ans, bonne chance à ce monsieur.
Liguori leclerc, TROIS-RIVIÉRES, QC (Canada)
13/08/2017 22:28
4
0
This man could have been killed. He needs to carry Bear spray made from hot peppers and not focus so much on the mushrooms. Mama bear surprised him.
Aarky, Ft Smith, USA
13/08/2017 17:46
4
0
I like how he noticed that mama bears fur was soft in the middle of the brawl,this is a cool guy.
kenneth, sweden
13/08/2017 12:59
9
0
1

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