North Carolina man punches attacking bear in the nose

By Ben Hooper

Nov. 9 (UPI) -- A North Carolina man who survived a bear attack with only minor scrapes and bruises said he repeatedly punched the animal in the face.

Sonny Pumphrey, 78, said he was in his driveway in Haywood County's White Oak community Tuesday afternoon when a mother bear and her two cubs approached his house.


Pumphrey said the cubs ran off when they saw him, but the mother bear attacked.

"She made a charging dead run at me. That sucker was eyeball to eyeball to me," he told WLOS-TV.

"Only thing I could do was to punch her right in the nose," Pumphrey wrote in a Facebook post.

He said the bear then bit him and he retaliated by repeatedly hitting the predator in the head.

Pumphrey's wife, Betty, and the couple's Yorkie dog came outside to investigate the commotion and their appearance caused the mother bear to flee.

Pumphrey said he was lucky to walk away with only minor injuries.

"He was taken to Haywood Regional Hospital and released. He sustained scratches and possibly a small puncture," Fairley Mahlum, spokeswoman with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, told the Asheville Citizen-Times.


Wildlife officials said they were unable to locate the bear after the attack.

"I could have been dead. I could have been really cut up bad," Pumphrey said.

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