Man who survived bear attack shares his life-saving experience

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) – Following a fatal bear attack in Colorado, a Jefferson County man who survived the attack speaks out. Jon Johnson hopes his story will help those who might encounter a bear.

In August 2019, Johnson and his significant other were in their Pine home having dinner and watching a movie when they heard noises.

“We heard something upstairs, and we thought maybe it was a raccoon,” Johnson said.

He went to investigate and made some noise to scare off what he thought was a raccoon. He soon found himself face to face with a bear in his own home.

Outdoor surveillance video showed the bear and its two cubs. The mother bear was able to use her claw to carefully open a screen door that was used to allow air to circulate around the house.

“I got really big and started to growl and make noise,” Johnson recalls.

He said the bear had turned to leave but his cubs had entered.

“That’s when she turned around and punched me in the nose,” he said. “So I turned around and punched her in the face.

His partner was able to use his baseball bat to hit the bear on the head. The bear then left.

What’s important about this 2019 story is the lesson learned.

“I believe in playing the alpha… staying tall and making a lot of noise, she never got up on her hind legs,” Johnson said. “But she was able to scratch my arms.

Officials say people should try to avoid bears first and keep plenty of distance. But those who are attacked should fight back. Being big and strong will help.

“If I hadn’t… paid attention to my neighbor telling me to grow up and be aggressive 12 years ago, I might not be here,” Johnson said.

It is important to use bear-resistant trash cans in bear country. People will wear bear bombs and horns when hiking – devices designed to annoy and irritate bears.

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About Kristina McManus

Kristina McManus

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