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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-31-2005, 03:34 PM Thread Starter
Ta Moko
 
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Grizzly attack

Grizzly attack survivor expects to be back at work next week

By: Associated Press

KALISPELL, Mont. -- An Escondido man who survived a grizzly bear attack while hiking with his daughter in Montana's Glacier National Park expects to be back at work next week, four months after the horrific encounter.

"I'm a little anxious, but I'm looking forward to it," Johan Otter told the Missoulian newspaper in a telephone interview from his home in Escondido. "I'm excited about getting some of my normal life back again."

Otter, 44, and his daughter Jenna, now 19, were hiking the popular Grinnell Glacier trail last August when they surprised a sow grizzly and her cubs. The bear attacked.

Jenna attempted to use her bear spray, but the attack was too quick, Otter said. In addition to severe wounds suffered in the attack itself, Otter and his daughter were injured further when they rolled off a steep embankment to get away from the bear.

Otter's injuries included five broken vertebrae, deep bite wounds to the leg, and severe damage to his scalp and one eye. Jenna suffered puncture wounds to her shoulder, a large gash on her cheek and bite wounds to her heel.

Despite all the injuries, Otter said both he and his daughter are doing well. Jenna recently finished her first quarter at the University of California-Irvine, he said.

Otter, who is director of physical, speech and occupational therapy at Scripps Memorial Hospital in San Diego, continues his own physical therapy and is expected to undergo additional reconstructive surgery for the scalp and eye injuries.

"Everything's healing great," he told The Daily Inter Lake newspaper of Kalispell. "My neck is still stiff and, of course, there's lots of scars and, of course, there's no hair on the top of my head."

Otter said he holds no ill will toward the bear, which he said "did exactly what she should have done. She protected her cubs by neutralizing the threat." Park officials agreed and said there was no plan to kill or relocate the bear.

He said he wants to return to Glacier some day and even visit the spot where the attack occurred.

"It's more like a psychological healing in some way," he said. "I'd love to go back. I'd like to say thank you in person to the many people who helpe


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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-31-2005, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
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We used to have Grizzly's In San Diego but that was back 1900. Would like them to be reintroduced to your state?
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-31-2005, 03:41 PM
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It's good to see he is recovering. Too many of these stories, end with someone dying.

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If people don't regulate themselves, others will do it for them.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 12-31-2005, 05:56 PM
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Good to hear they made out of it ok. There are a few grizzly attacks each year here. Not everyone is lucky enough to survive. The last thing I want to see when out hiking is a sow with cubs.
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