Here’s a silver lining for you.
If you have to get mauled by a grizzly bear, try to maneuver your bear spray into his mouth so he bites down on it.
That’s what happened to Spencer Smith, the Cody man who was mauled last Friday in the Sunlight Basin area in northwestern Wyoming.
The Game and Fish Department on Tuesday announced they finished their investigation and concluded Smith’s survival might be due to a fortuitous chomp on the bear spray.
“During the encounter, the bear bit Smith’s bear spray holstered on his hip, rupturing the canister and presumably causing the bear to break off the attack,” the report reads.
Smith survived the attack and was airlifted to a Billings hospital on Friday where he was in stable condition with “severe” neck injuries.
Despite those injuries Smith was able to walk more than a mile from the attack area to his ATV, where he received assistance from Game and Fish Department personnel.
There’s good news for the bear as well. The adult male grizzly is unlikely to be put down.
“Due to the circumstances involved a surprise encounter and the inability to identify the individual bear, Game and Fish does not plan to take management action at this time, and no area closures have been implemented,” the statement reads.