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Veteran’s Narrow Escape From Grizzly Bear Attack In Grand Teton

Army veteran and photographer Shayne Patrick Burke from South Hadley survived a grizzly bear attack in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. His quick thinking and use of bear spray saved his life, and he is expected to recover fully.


SOUTH HADLEY, MA (3-minute read) — A South Hadley resident recently survived a terrifying grizzly bear attack in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park.

The man has been identified as Shayne Patrick Burke, an Army veteran and photographer. Burke shared his ordeal on Instagram, describing the incident as a “wrong place, wrong time” scenario.

According to Burke, the attack was the most violent experience of his life, surpassing his encounters with gunfire and explosions during his military service. Burke, a disabled Army Reserve veteran, emphasized the severity of the encounter.

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Burke had gone to the park to photograph a Great Grey Owl. He planned to spend only an hour in the forest but lost track of time. On his way back, he made noise to avoid surprising any wildlife. Despite his precautions, he spotted a bear cub about 50 yards away and then saw the mother bear charging toward him.

Grizzly Bear Attack Begins

Quickly reaching for his bear spray, Burke found himself under attack before he could use it. He shielded his vital organs by lying face down and covering his neck but sustained bites and slashes to his back, shoulder, and legs. Eventually, he managed to deploy the bear spray, which caused the bear to retreat.

After the Grand Teton bear attack, Burke contacted his wife and called 911. While waiting for help, he used his gear to create makeshift tourniquets to control the bleeding. Fearing for his life, he recorded a message for his loved ones.

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Rescue teams arrived and transported Burke to a hospital, where he underwent surgery. He is expected to make a full recovery.

The National Park Service stated that the attack was a surprise encounter and that the mother bear would not face any consequences.

Safety Tip: When hiking in bear territory, always carry bear spray and know how to use it. Make noise to avoid surprising bears and stay alert to your surroundings.



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