A man survived being mauled by a 6ft tall brown bear which savaged his leg – after he punched it in the face on the advice of his girlfriend.
Andi Bauer, 26, from
The protective beast bounded towards Mr Bauer, a PhD student, and wrapped its jaws around his right leg – tossing him from side to side.
Andi Bauer (right), 26, from Germany, survived being mauled by a 6ft tall brown bear which savaged his leg after he punched it in the face on the advice of his girlfriend Laura Booth (left)
Its jaws tore a chunk out of his calf and broke his leg bone in three places.
Lara – who was walking 20ft behind – screamed for him to ‘punch it in the eye’ and Mr Bauer took the advice when the bear tried to strike again.
Miraculously the enormous bear fled, and Lara had to leave Andi to stem the bleeding with his socks while she searched for mobile signal to call for help.
A helicopter took him to hospital where doctors had to screw rods into his leg to fix his broken bones.
The protective beast bounded towards Mr Bauer, a PhD student, and wrapped its jaws around his right leg – tossing him from side to side and causing horrific injuries
Lara – who was walking 20ft behind – screamed for him to ‘punch it in the eye’ and Mr Bauer took the advice when the bear tried to strike again. Above: Mr Bauer had his finger lacerated in the attack
The pair said they feel lucky to be alive.
Andi said: ‘I was in a state of shock, so I don’t remember the pain anymore.
‘But this momma bear was suddenly a metre away from me. It was so loud.
‘I had my side turned away from it, so when I saw it bounding towards me I just didn’t have time to think about what to do.
‘It bit my leg, held on to it, and dragged me and threw me about.
‘I was crying out for help, but there wasn’t anything that anyone could do.
‘The bear let go of me, and after Lara told me to punch it in the face, I hit it.
‘It then went away.
Miraculously the enormous bear fled, and Lara had to leave Andi to stem the bleeding with his socks while she searched for mobile signal to call for help
Above: The horrific injuries which the brown bear inflicted on Mr Bauer’s leg
The shattered his bone in three places and tore a chunk out of his calf, so Mr Bauer used his socks as a tourniquet
‘I suppose I’m lucky I got through it. But I’d have been luckier not being attacked.’
Lara from Cambridge added: ‘I was frozen with fear when we first saw the bears.
‘I was probably useless – I was screaming at Andi the whole time.
‘Keeping calm during an attack like that is hard. I did so as best I could.
‘Then I remembered that you’re supposed to punch a bear in the eye, so I yelled that and the bear turned around and left him.
A helicopter took Mr Bauer to hospital where doctors had to screw rods into his leg, which was broken in three places
At the hospital, in Targu Mures, in central Romania, Mr Bauer had his horrific injuries treated
‘Andi’s so luck to be alive.’
Mr Bauer and Ms Booth were hiking through the Carpathian Mountains in southern Romania in May when he was attacked.
The PhD students, living in Berlin, had decided to embark on a five-day expedition from a small town called Breaza, in north-west Romania, after driving from Passau, in Germany .
They parked their car by an old monastery and priest warned them against climbing the mountains.
Mr Bauer and Ms Booth shrugged it off – and scaled the mountains with just a tent and sleeping bags.
On their first day, Lara and saw a snake, lizard, and six wild boar – and Mr Bauer joked: ‘The next thing we’ll see is a bear.’
Mr Bauer’s right leg was put in a plaster cast and rods were screwed in to his leg to fix his broken bone
Mr Bauer said: ‘I was always feeling optimistic that I would survive the attack’. Above: Him in hospital in Romania
On day two of the trek after walking for around three hours, the pair came across a dead mauled fawn – and started to worry.
Moments later they spotted a bear and two cubs on the path ahead, but it was too late for Mr Bauer to safely back away.
Ms Booth started screaming at her boyfriend to get away from the bears, with the mother growling ferociously.
The mother then bit Mr Bauer, grabbed his right ankle, and dragged him away.
Frightened and screaming, Ms Booth tried to keep up with the bear, all the while keeping her distance from the two cubs.
She didn’t have a bear spray with her because Mr Bauer had told her she wouldn’t need it.
Ms Booth then yelled at her boyfriend that he should punch the bear in the eye – advice she said she’d read online.
After he took her advice, the bear and her cubs disappeared, leaving Mr Bauer wounded on the mountain peak.
Mr Bauer and his British girlfriend Ms Booth the day before the bear’s attack
It had shattered his bone in three places and torn a chunk out of his calf, so Mr Bauer used his socks as a tourniquet.
After an hour of walking uphill, Ms Booth got phone signal and called for help and a helicopter took her down the mountain before going to get him
He was transferred immediately from Breaza to a hospital in Târgu Mureș, in central Romania, a cage – known as an external fixation – fitted around his leg.
Ms Booth had to take a series of buses to get to the city hospital 20 miles away, and Mr Bauer was later repatriated back to Munich, where he is still in hospital.
She said: ‘This was supposed to be a hard but pleasant hike through the Romanian mountains.
‘I’d read up about bears and panthers, but Mr Bauer had persuaded me not to bring a bear spray because he thought it’d be more likely that it would explode.
Brown bears can reach a height of nearly five feet and weigh up to 1,300lbs (file photo)
‘I’d had a bad feeling deep down the whole time.
‘Leaving him on the mountains on his own was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.
‘To keep him safe, I told him to keep speaking loudly to scare other animals off.
‘And the whole time I looked for help, another thunderstorm was gathering.
‘It was a race against the clock at that point. But we won that one.
‘He’s doing as best he can now, and is being treated properly in Germany.’
Mr Bauer added: ‘I was always feeling optimistic that I would survive the attack.
‘In fact, the greater risk was the helicopter not being able to fly through the mountains.
‘The chances of being attack by a bear like that are slim anyway – you’re more likely for the bear spray to explode than be attacked.’