A hiker who was attacked by a brown bear earlier this week has been reunited with his dog after two days.
Jason Umbriaco was exploring the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska with his 14-week-old border collie Buckley when a bear appeared with two cubs.
The man, who had bear spray with him, said the attack happened so quickly that he did not have the time to use it.
Alaska Wildlife Troopers said the dog had run after the two bear cubs, so their mother had attacked the hiker in defense.
Speaking of the attack, Jason said the animal covered about 50 feet “in an instant” and he put his hands up in a defensive position.
Jason was bitten by the beast on his forearm and jumped into the nearby Kenai River because he was scared.
However, the bear followed him and chomped on his shoulder before leaving the area with her cubs.
Eventually, Jason was able to get back to his truck to call the emergency services, but his dog had disappeared by then.
He told Alaska’s News Source : “After the conflict, I was calling and calling for Buckley, and apparently he had just run off, you know. He was just terrified and had taken off.”
Jason had to be hospitalised due to his injuries and once there, employee Bonnie Nichols heard him talk about the missing dog.
Ms Nichols volunteered to share a picture of Buckley on Facebook, hoping that someone would find the dog and bring him back to the owner.
Jason said Buckley normally wears a collar with identification, but that came off during the bear attack.
Ms Nichols said that the day Buckley went missing, a woman named Wendie Wilson found a stray dog in the area where Jason and his dog had been hiking.
She eventually took the dog home to take care of him during the night.
When Ms Wilson came across Buckley’s photo on Facebook, she called Ms Nichols and told her: “I think I have the missing dog.”
Jason then left the hospital after spending a night there and was finally reunited with Buckley.
He said: “It was just a shock. I couldn’t believe it. I had kind of given up hope, and I was sort of making preparations inside to just move forward without him, and now it’s like I’m gonna have those times back of just joy, and peace.”