A SLEEP deprived man managed to fight off a grizzly bear in a week-long battle as it terrorized him every night before he was finally rescued after desperately scrawling "SOS" on a shack roof.
In scenes akin to The Revenant – in which Leonardo DiCaprio's character is mauled by a bear – the terrified man was attacked and repeatedly targeted by the beast while alone in the wilderness of Alaska – and was down to his last two bullets when finally saved.
The man – who rescuers said was in his late 50s or early 60s – was staying at a remote mining camp some 40 miles outside of Nome when he was attacked by a ferocious grizzly bear.
What ensued was almost a week of tenacious advances from the huge creature – with the bear returning every night.
The ordeal saw the unidentified man dragged to a nearby river by the beast as he fought to fend it off – miraculously managing to escape its clutches.
Fearing for his life and with no phone or signal available, his only option was to write "help me" and "SOS" across the tin roof of his shack, which he had been staying in since July 12.
While en route to a mission on Friday, the crew of a Coast Guard helicopter spotted the pleas for help and circled back over – when they then caught sight of the man waving both hands in the air, the pilot said.
When rescuers got to him, the man had just two bullets left and the door of his shack had been ripped off its hinges by the beast.
The crew took the man to Nome to be treated for bruising to his torso, as well as a leg injury.
“At some point, a bear had dragged him down to the river,” Lt. Cmdr. Jared Carbajal, one of the pilots of the Coast Guard helicopter, told the New York Times.
“He had a pistol. He said that the bear kept coming back every night and he hadn’t slept in a few days.”
According to Commander Carbajal, the helicopter had changed its course by about a mile that day to avoid some clouds when the co-pilot saw the man's calls for help.
“He said, ‘Hey, there’s a guy down there and he’s waving at us,’” Commander Carbajal said.
“I said, ‘Is he waving with one hand or two hands?’”
The man was waving two hands – widely recognized as a distress signal.
It comes after a grizzly bear killed a cyclist after it wandered into a campsite, triggering an intensive search as cops hunted for the dangerous animal.
The attack occurred in the early hours of the morning on July 6 in Ovando, Montana – a town with a population of fewer than 100 people.
Cops said the bear had wandered into the site where the victim – avid cyclist and camper, Leah Lokan, 65, of Chico, California – was camping before but it later returned.
The bear mauled to death the cyclist, who was part of a group on a biking trip.
The 400-pound male grizzly was gunned down by hidden wildlife rangers and local sheriffs who had summoned him to a chicken coop after midnight.
ABOUT GRIZZLY BEARS
GRIZZLY bears are a North American subspecies of the brown bear.
They can grow up to eight feet long and weigh up to a staggering 800 pounds.
Despite their size, they can sometimes run up to 30mph, according to National Geographic.
They can be dangerous to humans- especially if surprised or if someone comes between and mother and her cub.
Alaska has more than 98 per cent of the United States' population of brown bears, and more than 70 per cent of the North American population, according to its Fish and Game Department.
Grizzly bears' home ranges can encompass up to 600 square miles, and so they often live in areas isolated from developments.
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