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My face was torn off by grizzly bear – I was forced to make devastating choice as I sat holding pieces of my ear & scalp – The Sun

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A DAD has told how he was left picking up pieces of flesh from the ground after his face was ripped off by a grizzly bear.

Jeremy Evans was so sure he wouldn’t survive that he tried to end his life “on his own terms” as he lay with a mutilated face and his fingers “broken and going different directions”.

Jeremy Evans was attacked by a grizzly bear, here he's pictured with his daughter Abby

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Jeremy Evans was attacked by a grizzly bear, here he’s pictured with his daughter AbbyCredit: Supplied
Jeremy said the thought of his baby daughter and wife was what kept him fighting to survive

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Jeremy said the thought of his baby daughter and wife was what kept him fighting to surviveCredit: Supplied
Jeremy was airlifted to hospital and miraculously survived the attack

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Jeremy was airlifted to hospital and miraculously survived the attack
The above picture shows a note Jeremy left in a hunting lodge after the attack

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The above picture shows a note Jeremy left in a hunting lodge after the attackCredit: Supplied

The 38-year-old had recently become a father and gone on a hunting trip in the remote Alberta Rockies, Canada – a regular hobby for him.

But this time, he was viciously attacked multiple times by a grizzly bear – leaving him with a face so shredded that he considered shooting himself.

Trying to protect its cub, the female bear was threatened by Jeremy and pounced before he could grab his weapon.

It tore off Jeremy’s face in “one fell swoop” and chewed on his head “like a dog gnawing on a bone”.

read more on grizzly bears

Remarkably, as Jeremy lay in a heap on the mountainside, it was a song that gave him the strength to fight on.

Jeremy was so badly injured that a child who saw him when he finally made it to safety thought he was dressed as a “zombie” as a prank.

Recalling the immediate aftermath of the attack, Jeremy told The Sun: “I found a piece of flesh with a little bit of bristles on there, and some soft spot which was part of my moustache.

“Then I found another larger chunk that felt like hard cartilage. This was a piece of my ear and a piece of my scalp.  So I picked that up off the ground.

“I was sitting there holding a piece of my face, I knew I wasn’t going to make it, and there were a couple of options.

“Do I try to endure the unendurable? Do I just like I didn’t let things happen? Or do I end it on my terms?

“So I loaded up my rifle, and I place one against the ground, and I put my chin on the barrel, and I pulled the trigger.”

Horror moment rampaging bear mauls two people in street in savage attack hours after woman killed by beast in Slovakia

The gun didn’t go off at first but when he reached down to try again it fired, missing his face by just “inches”.

On August 24, 2017 at 2.30am, Jeremy set off on a sheep hunting holiday.

He arrived, parked his truck, and began to cycling to the camp where he would stay on the trip.

On his journey he spotted some sheep and sat in the grass to watch them peacefully just a few moments before disaster struck.

He recalled seeing a “little brown thing” run in front of him less than 10ft away and had “an overwhelming feeling of being screwed.”

As an experienced hunter Jeremy instantly knew this was a grizzly bear cub and asked the crucial question: “Where is mama?”

His face was completely torn apart

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His face was completely torn apartCredit: Supplied
When Jeremy arrived in hospital he had two major 12 to 13 hour operations

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When Jeremy arrived in hospital he had two major 12 to 13 hour operationsCredit: Jeremy Evans
Jeremy pictured with his wife, Joyce on their wedding day, before the attack

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Jeremy pictured with his wife, Joyce on their wedding day, before the attackCredit: Supplied

“I was just reaching into my backpack to grab my bear spray when I heard a branch break over my right shoulder and when I looked there was mama on a full charge,” he said.

The bewildered dad had “just half a second to react” and set upon the beast “beating her up” and smashing her in the face with his backpack.

“I remember seeing her teeth sink into my hand, and I could feel it separating the bones,” he said.

Jeremy’s onslaught seemed to do the trick as the crazed animal began to back away and he breathed a sign of relief.

But then – with a taste for blood fresh at the forefront of its mind- the huge bear doubled back to attack for a second time.

Jeremy sprinted away, running for his life and leaping into a spruce tree for safety.

He only managed to haul the top half of his body up before the bear stood on her hind legs, wrapping her paws around him and sinking her teeth into his flesh.

Jeremy clung onto the tree but was plucked out “like it was nothing”, leaving him scrambling around on the floor and desperately trying to crawl into the thick branches underneath for cover.

When she crunched down she removed the whole left side of my face in one fell swoop

Jeremy Evans

“It was working at first but then she came in with her mouth and bit me right on the left side below my ribs, but above my hips.

“She picked me up and shook me like a rag doll and threw me on the ground.

 “Then before I can even take a breath and curl up in a ball she bit me on the left side of the face. 

“When she crunched down she removed the whole left side of my face in one fell swoop,” said Jeremy.

Although he knew that playing dead was the best response to an attack Jeremy explained:  “It kinda sucked when something is chewing on your face.”

He continued: “I punched her in the mouth and grabbed her by the tongue and I was trying to get her off of me but she’s a 300- 350 pound bear and I couldn’t budge her.

 “I reached up in between her legs and grabbed what at the time I thought was balls and pinched.

She made a horrible sound and started bucking like a bronco and squealing like a pig.

“I let go, and she ran away defecating across the mountainside.”

Jeremy wrote text messages to his wife but they never sent

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Jeremy wrote text messages to his wife but they never sentCredit: supplied
Jeremy has written a book about the ordeal

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Jeremy has written a book about the ordealCredit: Instagram/thegrizzlydude1
He now travels around the world doing motivational speeches, here he is pictured with some audience members

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He now travels around the world doing motivational speeches, here he is pictured with some audience membersCredit: Instagram/thegrizzlydude1

Incredibly even at this point – despite his severe injuries – Jeremy’s main concern was that his trip would now need to be cut short.

“I dusted myself off thinking, well, that’s not so bad, I can still go and get my sheep, or go and look for the bear,” he said.

Jeremy started to load his rifle and attempted to try and make the most of the hunting trip.

But then “everything went numb”.

“My hands dropped and I could hear the sound of ice breaking, she’d come back, grabbed me by the back of the head and started to drag me back into the bushes,” Jeremy recalled.

“She was just grunting, pulling me like a dog when they play tug of war.”

The grizzly dragged the terrified hunter around 1,000ft across the ground before stopping.

“She reached over and caught me on the bottom corner of the left side of my face and she peeled all the way across, removing all the skin off my face all the way through my head to my ear,” Jeremy said.

“She then she started chewing on this side of my head just like a dog gnawing on a bone.”

I literally looked like a zombie, I was wearing shorts and a T-shirt, and my face is all ripped apart, and I had toilet paper and bounty sheets wrapped around my face

Jeremy Evans

Fighting for his life and as a last-ditch attempt to survive, Jeremy again found the soft underbelly of the bear and squeezed as hard as he could.

The panicked animal released him, running away across the mountain as Jeremy’s mangled body slumped to the ground.

The hunter had lost hope and describes experiencing a strange “calm feeling” as he accepted his fate.

“I knew I wasn’t gonna make it,” he said.

“I started picking pieces of my face off the ground.  I knew that this was it. I wasn’t gonna make it very far.

 “I was bleeding out of my face, my hands, my left side, my legs the blood was just pouring out

“I was sitting there thinking, this is it. This is the end. When I came to that realisation things slowed down and I got really calm.”

Not thinking clearly, Jeremy made the decision to end his own life rather than suffer and bleed to death slowly.

He loaded his rifle and pulled the trigger. But it didn’t fire.

As he tried to reload, the gun it went off and sent the bullet shooting past Jeremy’s face missing him by just inches.

The blast snapped Jeremy back into fight mode and although he still didn’t believe he would make it, he thought of his family.

 “I realised that I gotta try to make it somewhere where they’re going to find the body cause my wife deserves closure,” he said.

And so “wrapping up (his) face to hold things in place” and having to press his “hanging” eye in its socket to be able to see, Jeremy got to his feet and began to walk down the mountain.

“I made it maybe 15ft down there, and I fell into the drainage and rolled about 200ft down to the bottom to a creek and I was laying there, tangled in the rocks and just face down in an excruciating amount of pain,” he said.

It kinda sucked when something is chewing on your face

Jeremy Evans

“So I pull my phone out to send my final goodbyes and then to play some music just to help calm the thoughts.”

Jeremy expected to die regardless of the tune which played from his mobile – but the song he heard saved his life, he says.

“The first song that came on was the baby shark song that I played for my daughter the night before while putting her to bed,” he said.

“That song just triggered me to just to roll over and pull myself up.”

He added: “In that moment I found  my motivation, my inspiration to keep going and that was my family and that song really made me think of them.”

Jeremy described focusing on reaching one rock at a time and then challenging himself to reach just one more each time.

Eventually he reached a camp site. 

He stumbled into one of the tents – but found no one there and looked for a radio or a satellite phone.

Instead, he ended up finding a tin of spam and some juice boxes.

“I was just sitting at the table eating this ham, and I put it inside my mouth and just let it roll into my throat because it couldn’t really move my jaw or anything,” he said.

Jeremy also found a notebook and he wrote another message to his wife Joyce – and also to apologise for the bloody mess he had left in the tent.

After lying on the floor for hours with alarms set to stop himself falling asleep, Jeremy decided he needed to walk on further and find his vehicle.

Grizzly bears: factile

  • Grizzly Bears can be found in Canada, Alaska, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washington, and possibly southern Colorado.
  •  Grizzly front claws can be up to 4-inches in length – as long as human fingers.
  • On average they are the size of a 6ft man
  • Their diet includes fish (especially salmon), rodents and hoofed animals like moose, elk, caribou, and deer.
  • Grizzly Bears eat 30 pounds of food per day.
  • They must hibernate for several months each year to survive cold winters and limited food supply.
  • Male Grizzly Bears weigh upward of 700 pounds (315 kilograms) and females can weigh up to 200 to 300 kilograms (about 400 to 600 pounds)

“The whole hike out I thought I was gonna die until I got to these two rocks that sat on the trail,” he explained.

“When I saw those rocks, I was like, I’m gonna make it cause it’s less than a mile from the truck, that’s the only time I ever thought was gonna make it.”

After finding his car, Jeremy bravely drove 22km to a resort where he knew he could get help.

When he arrived, Jeremy’s injuries were so horrific that a young child who saw him thought he was playing a prank and wearing a mask.

“I literally looked like a zombie,” Jeremy said. “I was wearing shorts and a T-shirt, and my face is all ripped apart, and I had toilet paper and bounty sheets wrapped around my face.”

The dad was airlifted to hospital where he had two surgeries lasting from up to 13 hours to try and salvage some of his face.

In total, he had five major surgeries and another 15, spending five weeks in hospital. 

Jeremy still has limited function in some places and he also can’t fully close his eyes and has no tear ducts.

I was sitting there thinking, this is it. This is the end

Jeremy Evans

Leaving hospital was just the beginning of a long and complex road to recovery where Jeremy had to fight an uphill battle with PTSD.

The trauma meant he would get triggered by sounds of ice cracking or the smell of blood.

He recalled a disturbing PTSD episode where his daughter jumped on him when he was sleeping.

“If you touch me anywhere but the feet when I’m sleeping I wake up into a flashback,” Jeremy explained.

“I ended up throwing her across the room. My wife was trying to hold me down and I’m flailing.

“10 minutes later I come to and there’s blood everywhere. My wife’s crying, my daughter’s screaming.”

This was the turning point for Jeremy seek help from a therapist.

He now travels the world doing motivational speeches – while also having a day job.

Despite the nightmarish ordeal, he refused to hang up his rifle and is still a keen hunter.

Jeremy wrote his own book, Mauled, documenting the experience – and he wishes to raise $5million to go towards research into PTSD.

He said: “Asking for psychiatric help is not a weakness, but a strength.

“And working in a team you can achieve incredible things because it took a large team, people collaborating to get to the stage where I’m at.”

The bear attacked Jeremy three times

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The bear attacked Jeremy three timesCredit: Getty
Jeremy and his wife on their wedding day

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Jeremy and his wife on their wedding dayCredit: Supplied
Jeremy and his daughter pictured before the attack

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Jeremy and his daughter pictured before the attackCredit: Supplied
Jeremy pictured with his daughter last year

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Jeremy pictured with his daughter last yearCredit: Instagram/thegrizzlydude1
Jeremy couldn't see properly when he was typing the messages he tried to send to his wife

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Jeremy couldn’t see properly when he was typing the messages he tried to send to his wifeCredit: supplied

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