The day before Thanksgiving, a California man fought off a bear that had attacked his dog by attacking the animal and punching it in the face.
California native Kaleb Bentham of Grass Valley, Nevada County, was playing with his pit bull “Buddy” near his home on You Bet Road on November 25th when he heard a growl and noticed the dog was attacked by a 350 pound bear, CBS 13 reported.
Bentham said the bear had the dog’s head in his mouth and was trying to drag him away from the area as he rushed to help Buddy.
“I just ran down, plowed into the bear, grabbed him and grabbed him by the neck and started punching him in the face and eye until he let go,” Benham told CBS 13. He said the bear attack took place about 75-100 feet away from him.
Fortunately, the bear let go of its potential prey and Bentham was able to quickly transport the pit bull to Mother Lode Veterinary Hospital, where it underwent an operation lasting more than three hours, requiring stitches and staples on the side of the head and above the eyes.
A video published in the social media by reporter Anna Giles showed the extent of the dog’s injuries when Bentham explained that the left side of his pet’s mouth was punctured when the bear bit a hole in the lip. Buddy, who was carrying a head cone, is now recovering.
Buddy’s face was badly damaged. His ears had to be reattached. But he is recovering! Kaleb and Buddy spent Thanksgiving lying in bed and resting, but they are more grateful than ever. Photo of Buddy while Kaleb watched from outside the operating room pic.twitter.com/T8IhDjkvLs
– Anna Giles (@AnnaGilesTV) December 4, 2020
The only species in California are black bears with an estimated population of 30,000 to 40,000, according to the state’s Department of Fish and Game. Adult females can weigh 100-200 pounds, while adult males weigh about 150-350 pounds, they say.
Although the attack was days ago, Bentham said a black bear has returned to the scene several times since. “He attacked and got his food, and his food was taken away from him and he wants it back,” he told CBS 13.
But the pit bull owner did not regret his life-saving actions last week, he added: “If it was your child, what would you do? This is my child, I would die for my dog.”
The state animal protection agency has said that black bears usually eat ants and other insects in the summer, but as omnivores they eat anything “that appears edible. They can adapt to human presence and are often attracted to an area by pet food or garbage.
This is advisable: “If you encounter a bear, do not run away, but face the animal, make noise and try to appear as big as possible. If you are attacked, defend yourself. Do not play dead.”