North Carolina man, 78, punches bear in nose; gets bite on hip


WAYNESVILLE, N.C. (AP/ABC News) – A North Carolina man says he duked it out with a mother black bear when it charged him as he worked in his driveway.
ABC affiliate WLOS-TV in Asheville reports 78-year-old Sonny Pumphrey was at his home Tuesday when he noticed two bear cubs near him. Those bears ran off, but the mother bear soon showed up.
Pumphrey said as the bear prepared to attack, he punched it “right dead on the point of the nose.” He said the bear fell back down onto all fours and bit him in the hip.

“I had nowhere to run. I could not go right and I couldn’t go left,” Pumphrey told ABC News. “I guess I just went with my natural instinct and just tried to protect myself.”
The bear ran off after Pumphrey’s wife came out of the house and fired a shot into the air.

“I was scared to death that she was going to kill my husband,” Betty Pumphrey said. “He was fighting for his life.”

Pumphrey received rabies shots as a precaution after he was bitten in the hip. He was back at home Friday recovering from the ordeal. 

“I got lucky,” he said. “I am one lucky individual to be alive today.”

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