In a graphic video of the incident, friends of the man can be seen trying to fend off the bear as she attacked 38-year-old Fon Promlad. The incident occurred in the Luang Pu Lamai Monastery in Phetchabun province, Thailand.
According to a report by the local newspaper Khaosod English, Promlad was teasing the bear named Kaew, which was in an enclosure, by dangling a bowl of rice with a stick. Aggravated, the 6-year-old female bear stood up on its hind legs, took hold of the man’s wrist and dragged him into the enclosure. The gruesome video of the incident shows Promlad being dragged around the open area of the enclosure before Kaew pulls him into her cage. All this while, others can be seen poking the bear with a stick over the wall of the enclosure and also throwing water on her.
However, the bear does not let go of Promlad who seemed to have lost consciousness as he continued getting mauled inside the cage. Later, the video cuts to caretakers of the bear rushing into the cage and dragging the man out.
You can watch the full video below (warning: contains graphic content).
Miraculously, Promlad reportedly survived the attack. Emergency services arrived at the scene and rushed the gravely injured and bleeding man to the hospital. He was said to be in a critical condition as of Thursday.
According to Thairath Online (in Thai), another local newspaper, the caretaker of the bear, Wandee Khawasawat, said Kaew had never hurt anyone before. The report also said Promlad had visited the temple to adopt one of the boars the temple kept after an appeal to the villagers to donate food for the animals there. Humans were allowed near the animals’ enclosures and could also feed the animals.
Kaew was also kept near the boars and was raised at the temple since she was a cub. A recent report by Khaosod said that the bear was shifted from the monastery to a government wildlife center after the attack and was “depressed.”
Spokesman of the Khao Kho Wildlife Captive Breeding Centre, Sompot Maneerat said Friday: “She needs a checkup. After the checkup, we’ll move her to a new place which imitates nature as closely as possible.”
Referring to the incident, a representative for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) told Daily Mail: “If you taunt a hungry bear, you’re likely to get hurt.”
“They suffer immensely when they’re trapped in barren concrete pits, denied everything that’s natural and important to them and left with nothing to do but pace back and forth and beg for food, often slowly going out of their minds with frustration. While this man got away with his life, bears around the world will continue to live and die in misery as long as humans still incarcerate animals in the name of entertainment,” the PETA representative added.
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