A man who was rescued from a helicopter after being trapped for more than two hours in the Arizona desert has told how he and his girlfriend were attacked by a pack of angry bears.
The rescue operation was launched after the helicopter carrying the man was spotted in the middle of a forest clearing on Friday night, Arizona National Guard Lt.
Col. Matt Oates said.
“The helicopter went out to meet the bear that was on the ground, and the bear started circling him,” he said.
The helicopter then took off, and Oates told the Associated Press that the man and his fiancee, who were staying with them at the time, were on the way to a motel when they noticed that a bear had been spotted on the outskirts of the town.
“We were like, ‘Wait a minute, where’s the helicopter?’
And they said, ‘There’s an angry bear,’ ” Oates recounted.
“I was like, what?
I don’t know what that means.”
The couple had been planning to spend the night at a motel, and then drive to their hotel to have a shower.
When they reached their hotel, the couple said they saw a bear in the woods.
They were both shocked.
The bear “had claws, a tail, a little bit of hair on it,” Oates explained.
“And when it saw that, it was pretty much a bear with no teeth.”
The bear then took Oates’ fiancee hostage, and threatened to kill her if she spoke to her boyfriend.
The couple managed to free themselves by throwing themselves on the forest floor, and they eventually managed to escape, according to the AP.
They told local authorities, who then contacted authorities in Arizona.
“They were trying to do whatever they could to try to save her,” Oles said.
But the ordeal didn’t end there.
“She had no choice but to get down on her hands and knees and beg for help,” Oakes told the AP, adding that he thought it was “totally appropriate” for the man to be in a bear-human situation.
He added that the couple were not the first to encounter such a situation, and that others had been attacked by bears before.
“This is a nightmare,” he added.
“There’s been a couple of other people that have had these experiences.
This was a real bear situation.”
The Arizona National Forest has now opened an investigation into the incident, Oates confirmed.
A similar incident took place in June 2017, when a man and woman were trapped in a tree by a grizzly after they were trapped for nearly two hours.
The man was rescued by helicopter and was treated for hypothermia, according the Arizona Daily Star.
In a video of the rescue, Oakes said that the woman was able to call for help after being repeatedly attacked.
“When the bear got in the trees, the man had no idea what was happening.
And he got down and tried to fight the bear off with his hands,” he told the newspaper.
“It was a fight, and we were just trying to get away from the bear, and it was like a war.”