Grizzly victim drives 25 km for help Blood-drenched surveyor makes his way out of wilderness in pickup truck Becky Rynor, Canwest News Service; with files from Global News Published: Thursday, May 08, 2008 http://www.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/news/story.html?id=0ea58e6d-12fd-471c-bcc1-772102cc5043 VANCOUVER -- British Columbians are being warned to be extra vigilant of bear attacks after a man was mauled by a 400-kilogram grizzly on Saturday. Brent Case, 53, was doing surveying work for a power company just east of Bella Coola when, he told his son, "he felt like someone was watching him." "[The bear] initially grabbed him and threw him to the ground," Dean Case said. "It was kind of boggy where he was and he fell down and there was a log nearby, so he tried to . . . put himself under the log. But the bear grabbed him by the other arm and pulled him out from under there." The younger Case said "after the bear pulled him back out and chomped on the back of his head, he thought he was going to die." His father wasn't dead, but he pretended to be while the bear jumped up and down on him several times, then finally wandered off. In spite of severe gashes on his head and upper arm, bites to his elbow and knee and bleeding profusely, he managed to drive his pickup truck about 25 kilometres out of the bush to a nearby settlement. "I knew right away he'd been attacked by something," said Rob Sandford who initially helped Case. "What I could see [he was] basically covered in blood." Case was rushed to hospital in Bella Coola and then airlifted to Vancouver General Hospital, where he remained yesterday. "The stitches are stapled all over the back and the side of his head, and over his upper arm," Dean Case said. "He's a pretty smart guy and he kept his face down when it was happening, so he doesn't have any damage to his face." Bella Coola, on the central coast, is 700 kilometres northwest of Vancouver. "Bear populations have been increasing fairly steadily since the '70s," said Kate Thompson, a spokeswoman for the provincial Ministry of the Environment. "We're looking at anywhere from 80,000 to 100,000 in the black bear population. The grizzly population is about 17,000. We have pretty much half of Canada's bears just in the one province." Environment Minister Barry Penner also urged British Columbians to be wary of bears at this time of year. "We've just come through a long winter so I would imagine any of the bears that are just now emerging from hibernation are hungry and that probably means they're a little bit grumpy." In Abbotsford, police warned residents to steer clear of bears in the southern Sumas Mountain area after a black bear was struck by a vehicle early yesterday and possibly injured. Police believe the animal may be hurt, but it ran from the scene and has not been found. The driver was not injured. Staff Sgt. Paul Briggs said that while the impact caused extensive damage to the vehicle, the bear may not be seriously hurt. However, he's warning the public they should avoid bears and to contact the police immediately if they spot one in the area. Officers have also contacted the provincial Emergency Preparedness Program to request the service of a conservation officer to find the injured bear.