A Swedish teenager is being lauded as a hero after punching a bear that was attacking his father in the head, saving his dad.
On Monday, August 21, a brown bear attacked the two hunters near the town of Ljusdal, in central Sweden. The hunters were participating in a large cull hunt at the time. The father-son team was pursuing a roughly 300-pound sow when it suddenly turned around and pinned the father to the ground. It began mauling the father's face. The son attacked the bear to defend his dad, managing to hit the bear in the head before it turned and bit the young man on the wrist.
"Bears can appear suddenly and come very close before you have time to shoot," Jonny Sjöblom, the leader of the organized hunt, told Svenska Dagbladet, a daily newspaper in Stockholm, Sweden. "It is very difficult to avert a danger in this way. Predators are individuals and it depends entirely on a case-by-case basis.
Sjöblom says that the brown bear likely let go of the man and went after the son after the boy started punching it. This reprieve allowed the father to fire off a shot, killing the bear.
Both father and son, who remain unnamed, were taken by helicopter to the intensive care unit at the Norrland University Hospital in the nearby town of Umeå. The father had severe lacerations to his face injuries were serious, but not life-threatening. The son is being treated for a broken wrist that required emergency surgery.
The father was an experienced bear hunter, and like any good hunter, he called the cull hunting team from the rescue helicopter to ensure that the bear's hide was taken care of, according to The Telegraph.
Sweden is home to an estimated 2,800 brown bears, mostly in the central and northern regions of the country. The hunting season runs from 21 August to 15 October.