Man fights off grizzly bear by stabbing it in neck with pocket knife as it savaged him

Jon Sharman

A man savaged by a grizzly bear while mountain biking fought off the animal by stabbing it with a 2in pocket knife – and then cycled four miles to get help.

Colin Dowler was out in the backwoods of British Columbia exploring possible hiking routes when he turned a corner and encountered the huge grizzly at a distance of about 30m, the BBC reported.

He had hoped the bear would avoid confrontation and pass him by, or retreat into trees near the logging trail on Mount Doogie Dowler, named for his grandfather.

But the animal approached him with “methodical, heavy swats” of its paws, Mr Dowler told the broadcaster. He tried talking it down, he said, telling it: ”I know this is your territory, I’m just passing through, we don’t have to do this.”

When the grizzly did not retreat the 45-year-old tried throwing his bike at it, to no avail. Then it lunged, sinking its teeth into his stomach.

Mr Dowler told Canadian broadcaster CBC: “It grabbed me by the stomach and kind of pushed me down and dragged me toward the ditch maybe 50 feet. I tried eye gouging it away and it didn’t really work.”

The bear also bit into his limbs during the 29 July attack, the reports said.

He added: “It sounded like it was grating my bones up.

“Somehow, I don’t know how I did it. I used both hands to pull underneath the bear to get to that knife, and I grabbed the knife ... and stabbed the bear in his neck.

“It let go of me immediately. It was bleeding quite badly, I wasn’t really sure if it was dying faster than I was.”

Once free of the bear’s jaws Mr Dowler reportedly made a tourniquet from his shirt and rode some 4.3 miles before finding help, in the form of five logging camp workers who gave first aid and called for an air ambulance.

Mr Dowler, a father of two, is now recovering at Vancouver General Hospital.

The bear was reportedly tracked down and killed by wildlife officers.