A walk to a relative’s house for some cigarettes nearly cost a Saskatchewan man his life.
Shortly after midnight Tuesday, Charlie Stewart was walking along a path to his aunt’s home on the reserve south of Cumberland House.
All of a sudden, Stewart said he could feel something watching him. Moments later, a large black bear emerged from the bush.
“It was about five times bigger than me. It was a big black ball of teeth and darkness. The only way I could see it was because it was darker than everything else around,” Stewart said.
Panicking, Stewart turned and began running to the house.
“I only made it a few steps. By the time (the bear) got to me, it swatted me in my lower back and I went flying into a ditch,” Stewart recalled.
When Stewart realized what was going on, the bear was on top of him.
The man managed to get free and tried running again. Once again the bear chased him down and knocked him to the ground.
“I thought I was dead and then it had me and it swatted me a couple times. Next thing I know I was running again,” he said.
This time, Stewart made it to a nearby house and the bear gave up its chase.
Stewart’s cousin, Tanisha Rabbitskin, came rushing upstairs from the basement when she heard the commotion.
“He was really scared. I’ve never seen my cousin like that,” she said.
Stewart remained at the house the rest of the night and received medical care from his family. Luckily, he only suffered a case of whiplash and a large bruise on his lower back in the shape of a bear paw.
He planned to go later in the morning to the hospital in Nipawin and get checked out.
The people caring for Stewart informed paNOW they tried to contact RCMP to no avail.
A spokesperson for the Cumberland House RCMP detachment confirmed a call on the attack came in around 2:30 a.m.