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Surviving a Grizzly Attack and Still Loving the Great Bear
Jim Cole has spent years tramping into the depths of places like Alaska, Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park in search of grizzlies, seeing these magnificent, powerful and reclusive animals at their most unguarded—foraging, fishing, caring for cubs, or simply lying in the backcountry sunshine. At times, he’s been surrounded by dozens of bears deep in the wilderness, yet has never felt threatened by these incredible and misunderstood creatures. Even after being mauled by a grizzly in 1993, Jim eagerly trekked annually into the bears’ habitat, armed only with bear spray, his camera, and his knowledge of how to stay safe. But nothing could have prepared him for May 23, 200, when he was attacked in Yellowstone by a mother grizzly who felt that his presence threatened her cub. The bear literally ripped off most of his face, blinded him in one eye, and savaged him nearly to the point of death. Jim was left sightless, bleeding, wounded and alone in the wilderness. He managed to find his way several miles through the wild country back to a main road, where passersby found him. In part, Blindsided is a gripping, detailed account of that fateful day—how Jim survived an assault by one of the most unstoppable predators on earth and managed to carry himself to safety despite his gruesome injuries. It’s also the story of how he recovered with the help and support of friends, family and a dedicated medical team, but perhaps most importantly, the book is a love story between and man and animal, a clear-eyed and affectionate look at the marvel that is the grizzly bear—its astonishing habits and intelligence, the threats it faces at the hand of man, and its hopes for the future.
St. Martin's Press; June 2010