It was a gruesome scene in the Revenant when a grizzly bear charged through the woods to attack Leonardo DiCaprio, leaving him for dead. It’s something that you would only want to witness in a movie knowing that it was completely computer generated. For Colin Dowler, such an attack was a terrifying reality.
Dowler was out for a ride down an old logging road in the back country of British Colombia when a grizzly bear stepped into his path. He prodded at the bear with a walking pole, but it did little to deter the beast. Instead, the bear attacked, knocking Dowler down. The bear grabbed dowler by the stomach and dragged him 50 feet toward a ditch. He tried eye gouging the bear, but it had little effect. The bear continued its attack, the sickening sound of its teeth scraping against the bones of Dowler’s leg. “I heard the grating,” recounts Dowler. That’s when, much like in the scene of the Revenant, Dowler remembered the knife that his father had given him only a few days before. “I used both hands to pull underneath the bear to get to that knife,” Dowler says. “I grabbed the knife out, opened it and stabbed it in the neck and it let go of me immediately and was bleeding quite badly.” The bear didn’t go far though, and kept its attention focused on Dowler. “I wasn’t really sure if it was dying faster than I was or what was going on,” said Dowler.
But that wasn’t the end of the ordeal. Dowler cut away a portion of his shirt to fashion a tourniquet and then made his way back to the road to his bike. He then rode 7 kilometers down the road, pedaling one-legged, to a logging camp. There he got his first bit of help. The loggers came to his aid and helped transport him to a hospital where he was treated for his injuries. The doctors credit his determination for saving his life. Dowler is expected to recover fully.
Four days later, conservation officers were looking for the bear, only to discover that the bear was actually stalking them. Once they were aware of the bear, they were able to put it down.