An Alaskan gold digger rescued from a sustained grizzly bear attack from a famous scene in The Revenant told a local newspaper, “The bear came out of nowhere.
“He overturned my bike and the trailer like it was a small car. I was in shock and hypothermia.
Richard Jessee was speaking to Nome Nugget, a weekly publication that bills itself as Alaska’s oldest newspaper, as his story went viral online.
According to Jessee’s interview with the Nugget, he lost his phone when the bear knocked him over from his all-terrain vehicle. He fired a pistol at his assailant ursine, then hid in his cabin as the bear attacked doors, windows and walls.
“There was no doubt about it: the bear was trying to get into my cabin,” he told The Nugget. “I don’t know why it was so aggressive. Maybe he had cubs nearby.
In The Revenant, a 2015 film set in the western United States in the 1820s, a fur trapper played by Leonardo DiCaprio comes across some cubs and is then attacked by a bear played by stuntman Glenn Ennis – a former rugby international from Canada – and rendered in CGI. The scene entered the history of cinema for its ferocity and realistic effect.
Jessee said he hid in his cabin, disoriented, for an unknown amount of days after placing an “SOS” sign on the roof. The bear returned periodically.
Jessee was rescued by the US Coast Guard. Lt Cdr Jerome Carbajal told The Nugget that he was “flying close to a lot of old mining sites” on Friday July 16 when his “co-pilot noticed a guy waving to him”.
“He was waving two hands above his head,” Carbajal said, “and it’s usually [a] sign of distress, so we turned to hover over to check and make sure he was okay. On the way up, we noticed that at the top of his roof he had painted “SOS HELP ME”.
Jessee said he will remember his rescuer’s face “forever.” It was traumatic, but I’m glad someone took care of me.
Aileen Witrosky, a soldier from the State of Alaska, said the Nugget Jessee “was not maimed” by the bear, “but suffered several injuries.”
Jessee told the newspaper, “The big lesson here is that I shouldn’t go out alone. I will never do that again. I am a very lucky man.