back to article Bear insistent on playing tonsil tennis with you? Just bite its tongue off

If you go down to the woods today, do it somewhere nice like the Forest of Dean* and definitely not Siberia, where a 30-year-old bloke only escaped with his life because he bit the tongue off the bear mauling him. Scrap metal Church roofs? Nyet, say Russian scrap thieves, we're taking this bridge READ MORE According to …

  1. disgruntled yank Silver badge

    license, hell

    Always have a large caliber weapon, would be my advice.

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: license, hell

      Once the Russian hunting season is over, carrying a gun that would be big enough to bother a bear would not be permitted. A small calbre would likely irritate it, Canadians I know recommend a stout stick and bear spray, both for aiming at the bear's nose.

      While I admit to having kissed a moose I would draw the line at exchanging spit with a bear.

      1. ibmalone Silver badge

        Re: license, hell

        While I admit to having kissed a moose I would draw the line at exchanging spit with a bear.

        Adding this to the "when in Canada" list.

        1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: license, hell

          Mynd you, møøse bites Kan be pretti nasti...

        2. BebopWeBop Silver badge
          Joke

          ?????

          And when in Wales...

      2. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: Canadians I know recommend a stout stick

        FYI: Those Canadians are secretly jealous of your boyish good looks and have a death wish for you.

      3. DougS Silver badge

        Carrying a gun

        Carrying a gun big enough to stop a bear might not be permitted, but being arrested for carrying a big gun out of season would be preferable to wait for a bear to put its jaws around your head so you can have a go at biting off its tongue!

        If you are already doing something illegal collecting antlers, adding a second illegal act by carrying a gun doesn't really matter much.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @Chris G. Hand guns are better than you think.

        https://www.ammoland.com/2019/03/pistols-or-handguns-used-to-defend-against-bear-attack-95-effective-63-cases/#axzz5qdur7m1g

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: license, hell

      I heard an interview with Ranulph Fiennes about one of his Actic expeditions. Apparently they had to attend a training event by the Canadian government - or the Mounties - I can't remember which. And this was to learn the law on shooting polar bears.

      He said that because most polar bear charges are a threat, and so don't lead to attacks, you're only supposed to shoot them if they're actually going to attack you. Being a protected species. And you can tell this from their tail position as they attack.

      Sadly of course, the tail is behind the bear, and the big scary teeth and claws are at the front, as are you. And there's a bloody big bear in between the two.

      So his argument was that: a) He was going to shoot any bears that got too close, on the grounds that he wasn't hanging around to assess the position of their tail, and; b) As he was an explorer there'd be nobody to see what he'd done anyway.

      Given he's a man who cut his own frost-bitten fingers off with a hacksaw, rather than wait for surgery - I don't see what harm a few seconds of waiting to get a nice photo of the tail would do him...

      Phew what a looney!

      1. SoloSK71

        Re: license, hell

        Bears have tails? I must have always concentrated on the bitey bits when I ran into them in the wild as I have never noticed this.

      2. Any other name

        Re: license, hell

        I heard an interview with Ranulph Fiennes about one of his Actic expeditions. Apparently they had to attend a training event by the Canadian government - or the Mounties - I can't remember which. And this was to learn the law on shooting polar bears.

        The branch of Canadian government you'd want to be learning about dealing with polar bears are almost certainly the Canadian Rangers, not the Mounties. For many years, their standard weapon was a .303 Lee-Enfield No. 4 rifle. Plus an ax - although I doubt that would be anybody's weapon of choice going against a polar bear.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: license, hell

          "...Plus an ax - although I doubt that would be anybody's weapon of choice going against a polar bear."

          That's not the weapon of CHOICE, it's the weapon of LAST RESORT! Rifles can jam, spray nozzles can block or fall off. My last-resort weapon is a tomahawk, lighter and faster than a standard axe (and useful for firewood). If it comes down to that, I figure I have one tiny chance to plant the 'hawk in its brain as it charges. If I'm very lucky I'll only be semi-crushed by the bear's momentum as it falls. Most likely the bear wins.

          But really, would you rather spend the last seconds before being killed by a large carnivore screaming in empty-handed despair? I'd rather go snarling and cursing and fighting, even if I lose.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: license, hell

            > If it comes down to that, I figure I have one tiny chance to plant the 'hawk in its brain as it charges.

            Might as well take a grenade or two as well.

            From that old approach of "If I go, we all go".

            Don't let the bear win. Regardless. ;)

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            It is a pretty nasty body spray

            It'd keep off the more mature female bears

        2. Kernel Silver badge

          Re: license, hell

          "Plus an ax - although I doubt that would be anybody's weapon of choice going against a polar bear."

          The most effective way of avoiding attack by a polar bear, or any other angry and dangerous animal for that matter, is a somewhat slower-than-you friend who should be taken along (and kept close to your person) on any excursion where there is a risk of animal attack.

          1. Ribfeast

            Re: license, hell

            That's what the gun is for, to shoot your companion in the leg so you can escape!

          2. eldakka Silver badge

            Re: license, hell

            Wasn't there a story within the last year or so, involving a large cat of some type, that reverses this?

            The story went that the cat pulled down and mauled the slower person, but was distracted by the still fleeing person, so interrupted its attack on the already brought-down person, and went after the still fleeing one. This person was caught up to and killed, while the person first attacked was able to get up and leave - and hence survived - while the 2nd victim, the faster one, was being killed.

            1. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

              Re: license, hell

              Probably. As opposed to some animals that kill for defence or food, some cats kill for fun, and anything fast moving and clawable is always fun.

          3. Is It Me

            Re: license, hell

            Hence the diving phrase "You don't need to swim faster than the shark, just faster than you buddy".

        3. The Nazz Silver badge

          Re: license, hell

          Polar Bear v the ex, now that would be interesting, especially if the bear got it's timing wrong.

          Oh. You said ax ...

          Opps, sorry.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: license, hell

            Don't forget - You are "The Ex" too.

      3. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

        Re: license, hell

        Hmm. I read that as Ralph Fiennes and I was wondering how he had such a successful acting career without a full set of digits.

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
          Happy

          Re: license, hell

          I should have given you his full name to avoid confusion - but that requires the assistance of Google on account of I can't spell it:

          Sir Ranulph Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes

    3. chivo243 Silver badge

      Re: license, hell

      +1, I would have also brought along a big sharp device for swinging. Are these guys new to Siberia?

  2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
    Coat

    Reminds me of Billy Connolly's "Ivan the Terrible"

    “It’s amazing the surge of strength you get when you bite your own willy.”

  3. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

    Watch out for the wild boar, though

    Them what did for Big Bobby B.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: Watch out for the wild boar, though

      Wild? I was furious!

      1. Paul Herber Silver badge

        Re: Watch out for the wild boar, though

        livid

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They called an ambulance...

    and it came in the middle of nowhere in the Siberian woods. In time. Impressive!

  5. Paul Herber Silver badge

    Shed antlers

    My shed doesn't grow antlers! Am I missing out? Perhaps I should get another shed.

    1. Steve Foster
      Facepalm

      Re: Shed antlers

      Are you sure? Perhaps it had simply shed them, and Irgit and friends had already visited...

    2. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Shed antlers

      You could just park your suitably-equipped truck outside: there would be a saving in cost, if not in personal dignity.

      1. Paul Herber Silver badge

        Re: Shed antlers

        I'm an El Reg commentard. What is dignity?

        1. m0rt Silver badge

          Re: Shed antlers

          Overrated.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Shed antlers

      Maybe you need Baba Yaga's shed? To go with the house on chicken legs.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Shed antlers

        Actually Baga Yaga's house is a shed. Pushkin says it quite clearly:

        <<избушка там на курьих ножках стоит без окон без дверей>>

        (There a shed without windows or doors stands on chicken legs)

        избушка (izbushka) is a diminutive of изба (izba), a (wooden) hut.

        However, the presence or absence of antlers is not reported by Pushkin, who is more concerned to let us know that Baba Yaga flies around in a mortar (and not on a broomstick).

  6. Dr Who

    Need a bigger sample

    Does "bear runs away" always follow "bloke bites bear's tongue off" or was the bear actually bored and about to wander off anyway. Need more data. Any offers?

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Need a bigger sample

      As it was your idea, I propose you to try it first. I'll be over hear hiding recording the outcome. For science, naturally.

      1. STOP_FORTH

        Re: Need a bigger sample

        Won't necessarily work. You'd need best of three.

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

          Re: Need a bigger sample

          STOP_FORTH,

          Well said that man! And we have our next volunteer.

          I volunteer for the test where the bear is actually a placebo. Placebear?

          1. STOP_FORTH

            Re: Need a bigger sample

            I'm not volunteering but am prepared to hold someone's coat for them.

            Pro tip:- Polar bears favour their left arm (which makes them "southpaws", I know, you couldn't make it up). Not sure if this applies to other bears. (Grizzlies and polar bears are very closely related.)

            HTH

    2. steelpillow Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Need a bigger sample

      Chomping down on somebody's head is actually bear language for "you don't have a license". Biting its tongue off is bear for "let's see your ID then".

  7. Eddy Ito Silver badge

    Bitten the bear's tongue off? I think if the bear can fit his head in its mouth then its tongue is likely the size of his hand. He may have nipped the bear's tongue and even gotten a chunk off but it's likely no bigger than a golf ball. Painful for sure but my guess is the bear still has 95% or more of its tongue. It will make licking the wound a challenge though.

    1. SoloSK71

      Yes, I think you need to revise your damage estimate downwards from a 5 for the man. Two or 3 at most.

      1. Excellentsword (Written by Reg staff)

        The judges arrived at their decision because the tongue bite was enough to make the beast flee. A critical hit, if you will.

        The judges' decision is final.

        1. FozzyBear Silver badge
          Happy

          Never argue with the DM

        2. ShadowDragon8685

          Aggression seems underrated on the man.

          I mean, he was aggro enough to bite a freaking bear's tongue off whilst his head was in its mouth. Most of us would be soiling ourselves.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            There's nothing to say both weren't done at the same time.

  8. FrogsAndChips Bronze badge
    1. Muscleguy Silver badge

      Re: Punch in the eyes also works

      It was more the eyes in that case which were the operative bear deterrent target site.

      Smart guy, he did what his woman told him to do.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Punch in the eyes also works

        But he didn't take the bear spray, her other advice, having failed to notice that cases of explosion have been in overheated cars, not on hikes. Which is easiest - remembering not to place pepper spray on a rock in bright sunlight, or being evacuated by helicopter with a leg broken in three places? Nassim Taleb has written whole books on people's inability correctly to assess downside risks.

        1. Cuddles Silver badge

          Re: Punch in the eyes also works

          "Which is easiest - remembering not to place pepper spray on a rock in bright sunlight, or being evacuated by helicopter with a leg broken in three places?"

          Being evacuated is easy - you just lie there and let everyone else do the work. Remembering something requires actual effort. The question of which is more painful may have a different answer.

  9. Stevie Silver badge

    But he didn't take the bear spray

    Maybe more people would trust it if it were labelled "Bat Anti-Bear Spray".

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: But he didn't take the bear spray

      But don't forget your Bat shark repellant. Remember there's a lot of lakes in Canada.

      Or just take some Lynx Africa, and kill two birds with one stone.

      1. Andrew Newstead

        Re: But he didn't take the bear spray

        That’ll kill all birds in a one mile radius!

      2. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: But don't forget your Bat shark repellant.

        It's in the rack in the Batcopter, along with the Bat Anti-Whale and Bat Anti-Squid sprays.

      3. Eddy Ito Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: But he didn't take the bear spray

        What if it is a regular shark instead of a bat shark that you need to repel?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's best to give them a little tickle behind the ears first just to get them in the mood.

  11. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

    When your head in de lion^Hbear mouth

    Take no time, just pull i' out!

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