Anyone who’s seen 2015 western flick The Revenant will remember one scene in particular. Yup, that absolutely brutal one where Leonardo DiCaprio’s Hugh Glass is mauled almost to death by a grizzly bear.
It’s a visceral masterpiece, which sees huge chunks of flesh ripped from Glass’ body – including a portion of his throat, leaving him unable to speak or swallow.
It was hard enough to watch, but imagine having to actually live through it… That’s essentially what happened to one man in China, who was forced to leap off the edge of a cliff to fend off two Asian black bears.
Tan Huajiang, 45, was returning home after picking mushrooms in the mountains when he encountered an adult Asian black bear (Ursus thibetanus) and its cub.
Tan, who’s from Beiba town in Hanzhong city in north-western China’s Shaanxi province, explained: “The two bears were up in a tree. The larger one jumped off and started attacking me.”
He said he has since had to receive more than 100 stitches on his head, limbs and torso.
Tan continued: “I ran away screaming and the bear chased after me growling. It pushed me to the ground three times and I wrestled myself free.”
After a 10-minute struggle with the black bear, Tan eventually decided there was only one way out, and took a literal leap of faith by jumping off a cliff.
“I thought to myself, the bear would’ve killed me had I not jumped. If I jump and survive, then I’m lucky,” he said.
Thankfully, the drop was a manageable 5m/16ft, meaning the Tan could make it. Even more fortunately, the bear did not give chase, meaning Tan was able to call local villagers for help before being taken to hospital.
Doctor Li Jinhong, of Nanzheng People’s Hospital, said that despite Tan’s extensive bodily issues, none of his vital organs, nerves, major arteries or bones were seriously harmed.
“He suffered from large wounds that necessitated more than 100 stitches in a procedure that lasted two hours,” Li said.
It is expected that Tan will be discharged from hospital in two weeks’ time.
Just a good job he didn’t also have to recreate the scene where Leo clambers inside a horse butt naked, I guess…
Featured Image Credit: CEN/20th Century Fox