A Maine man says he punched and kicked a 150-pound bear, scaring it away after it attacked his puppy in the woods. Dustin Gray, 29, said the bear lunged at him and his 11-month-old puppy on Monday, the AP reports. Gray said the attack happened near Route 1A in Dedham when he stopped to let Clover, a Labrador mix, relieve herself. The 6-foot-5-inch construction worker tells the Bangor Daily News that he suddenly felt Clover's leash rip out of his hand and saw a "big, black circle of fur" mauling his dog. He punched and kicked the bear until it fled and knocked him over in the process. "I stuck my finger right in its eye," Gray says.
Bear attacks are unusual and even rarer in the winter when bears are supposed to be hibernating; the local game warden calls it a "freak instance," with the Daily News noting it seemed to be the first time a person in Maine had to fight off a bear since 2010. Gray suffered scratches and bruises, while Clover suffered severe puncture wounds. The dog was being treated. The Maine Warden Service is investigating.