A Massachusetts veterinarian [John Crosson, 43] was mauled by a mother grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park's backcountry Monday and he credits his friend with saving his life.
Wygant, helped his injured friend hike three miles through swamps and thick downfall, built him a shelter for the night and found help the next morning.
The two started their backcountry trip Sunday when a boat left them at the mouth of Columbine Creek. They hiked south three miles that day and set up camp on the east shore of Lake Yellowstone's southeast arm. They planned to spend four nights in the area.
Monday morning they hiked about three miles, following an intermittent stream called Brimstone Creek. At about 10:30 a.m., on a hilltop overlooking Brimstone and Columbine creeks, all hell broke loose.
Crosson had moved about a dozen feet away from his friend to urinate when an ominous sound came from the deep timber.
"I heard a rush in the woods and I immediately saw a grizzly bear," he said in a telephone interview. "She was running full tilt. I yelled, 'We've got a griz. She's got cubs. She's coming fast. Don't run. Hit the deck.'"
However, he didn't follow his own advice very well.
The bear, accompanied by three cubs, sunk her teeth into Crosson's left calf and started shaking. Though she couldn't lift the 220-pound man off the ground, she tore up his leg and broke his fibia.