A 26-year-old bow hunter from Montana is fortunate to be alive today after surviving a vicious grizzly bear mauling. Chase Dellwo was hunting outside of Choteau, Montana last Saturday with his brother when he was stopped dead in his tracks by what he described as ‘the loudest roar I have ever heard’, and before he knew it the vicious 400-pound grizzly bear was upon him. The bear took hold of Chase, biting him in the leg before tossing him around like a ragdoll.
That’s when the bear really set in for the attack and charged Chase for what was sure to be the fatal bites, and it’s at that moment that the 26-year-old bow hunter from Montana remembered an article his grandmother had showed him in some magazine. The article stated that large animals typically have very strong gag reflexes, so he balled up his hand into a fist and shoved it down the bear’s throat as it attacked him, causing the bear to gag/choke, and retreat. If you think this story is badass I REALLY NEED you to read the story down below as well, about the man who invented taxidermy after being attacked by a leopard on the African Serengeti, but let’s get back to Chase Dellow’s story for now.
The Guardian reports:
Dellwo was walking up a creek bed, hoping to drive a herd of elk to a ridge where his brother was waiting.
He was only three feet (one metre) from the bear when he noticed it. He said the grizzly had been sleeping and didn’t see him coming, possibly because of the snow, rain and winds reaching 40mph (64km/h).
Dellwo said he only had time to take a few steps back before the bear knocked him off his feet and bit his head.
“He let go but he was still on top of me roaring the loudest roar I have ever heard,” Dellwo said.
The bear then bit Dellwo’s leg and shook him, tossing him in the air. As the bear came at the man again Dellwo recalled a story he read in a magazine.
“I remembered an article that my grandmother gave me a long time ago that said large animals have bad gag reflexes,” he said. “So I shoved my right arm down his throat.”
The advice worked and the bear left.
Dellwo rejoined his brother, who drove him to a hospital. Dellwo received stitches and staples in his head, some on his face, a swollen eye and deep puncture wounds on his leg.
— The Language Class (@thelanguageclas) October 6, 2015
Major props to Chase for keeping his wits about him amidst being attacked by a ravenous bear. But now let’s get the story of how taxidermy was invented. Well, taxidermy has existed for centuries in one form or another (tanning of animal hides), but the man who really brought notoriety to taxidermy is the one and only Carl Akeley.
Carl Akeley was a member of the world famous Explorer’s Club (headquartered here in NYC), an organization that over the years has been comprised of the greatest explorers the world has ever known, and Carl Akeley was one of them. His infamous taxidermy story took place on the African Serengeti.
I didn’t want to jack the entire story from ‘badass of the week‘ so I’ve pulled a few excerpts here. The first time I heard this story it was told to me while staring at a portrait of Carl that hangs in The Explorer’s Club, a portrait that shows the claw scars running down his face. To read the full story follow that link above, but for now here are a few choice excerpts:
The first – and probably awesomest – story comes one evening after a long day of hunting and observing wildlife in Somalia. Akeley was headed back to the spot where he’d bagged a hyena and a bigass warthog earlier in the day, but when he got there all he saw was a couple of big bloody streaks leading off into a thick brush. Akeley froze, realizing what was happening, and when a noise came from the brush, he raised his rifle and fired to try and scare it off. Suddenly, out of the thicket came this gigantic fucking leopard screaming towards him teeth-first like a psychotic killer cat being launched out of a horrible predator-launching cannon. Unable to get his weapon back around quickly enough, Akeley dropped his gun and threw his arm up just in time to prevent the vicious beast from ripping out his throat. The leopard latched on to Akeley’s left hand, chomping down with all its might, and kicking at him with its back legs like a rabid 80-pound feral housecat intent on brutally mutilating him beyond recognition and burying his body in the back yard. When his attempts to pull his hand out of the leopards’ jaws only made the creature bite down harder, Akeley, locked in a life or death fistfight with one of the most perfect predators nature ever created, did one of the most insane things ever – he punched his fist further into the leopard’s mouth.
Yes, you are reading that correctly. Carl Akeley, noted philanthropist and respected wildlife conservationist, punched a fucking leopard in the esophagus from the inside. The leopard gagged, Akeley pulled his hand out, and then he took the thing, bodyslammed it to the ground, and jumped on it with both knees, crushing it to death. Akeley, bleeding profusely from horrific wounds on both hands, clawed to shit, still recovering from a recent battle with malaria, and barely able to stand, then picked up the leopard (despite a shattered hand), threw it over his shoulder, walked back to camp with it, and taxidermized it for a museum exhibit.
Balls of steel? Balls of steel.
I think given how they both survived attack there are plenty of parallels that can be made between Carl Akeley and Chase Dellwo, so I’m going to go ahead and nominate Chase Dellwo as our very own ‘Badass of the Week’.
For more on Chase’s story you can CLICK HERE to head on over to the Great Falls Tribune!