One Florida man is counting his blessings that he’s alive after the decision to let his dog out ended in a bear attack.
According to ABC News, Andy Meunier had just opened the door to his Naples home to accommodate his dog when he turned and saw a bear staring him down. The animal was only a few feet away.
The bear lashed out when Meunier tried to go back into his home.
“Everything went in slow motion. It was just as scary as you can imagine,” he told WZVN. “It was standing in front of me, and I tried to turn left real quick and get back in the house and caught an uppercut from a brown, or a black, bear.”
The animal’s strike caught the side of Meunier’s face, leaving a long gash on his right side. It required 41 stitches and four hours in surgery to close.
“Truthfully, I’m not sure how I got out alive.”
This isn’t Meunier’s first encounter with a bear, though it is his closest. He noted that he’d seen several bears around the neighborhood before.
“I’ve seen them before, just never 2 feet away, swinging at me,” he added.
Meunier had a few jokes about the attack, saying that he lost a boxing match with a bear. He also said it looked like he was attacked by the comic book character Wolverine.
He also learned that he set a record along the way. The bear attack makes his the first recorded case of a human injury caused by a bear in south Florida.
“I don’t care if this scars, or anything. I walked away with my life, and it could’ve been a whole lot worse.”
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission has placed traps baited with doughnuts around the area in an attempt to catch the bear.