WAYNESVILLE, NC (FOX Carolina) - Sonny Pumphrey says he's lucky he's alive after a bear attacked him in his driveway Tuesday afternoon.
Around 4 p.m. yesterday, Sonny was outside in the driveway working. His wife, Betty, says he was blowing leaves and had just gotten a new car lift.
She was in the kitchen getting dinner ready, when all of a sudden she heard Sonny screaming from outside.
“I couldn’t believe it. She was down on all fours coming for him and then she stood up. And when she stood up and they mouth came open and I saw all those teeth, knew I had to do something and I just bolted through the door, screaming for her to let him go," she said.
Sonny wasn't going down without a fight. He says he did what he could to get the bear off of him.
“She was trying to bite me and I was biting her on the back of the head, constantly, hard as I can hit, just swinging," said Sonny. "I was scared.”
Sonny did get a hit on the bear's nose, and the bear then released him
When Betty came out and screamed at the bear, she says the bear turned to her and seemed like it would come toward her, but instead left for the woods. For good measure, Betty went back inside and grabbed her pistol and phone. She then shot into the air and woods to scare the bear away and called 911.
Sonny was later taken to the hospital for treatment. He was injured and has a large scratch on his hip. His treatment does include medicine for rabies. Aside from his injuries, he'll be okay.
Betty and Sonny say they were facing a female bear since they saw two full-grown cubs with it. They also say they've lived here since 1999 and never had this happen before.
Wildlife crews used dogs to try to track the bear down and have set traps near the house in case it decides to come back.