If you have never been to Wyoming's Grand Teton National Park, you should make it a point to try and get there.

At approximately 310,000 acres, the park includes the major peaks of the 40-mile-long Teton Mountain Range and the northern sections of the valley known as Jackson Hole.

The Teton Range is a sight to behold, but it can be dangerous.

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Every year, visitors to the National Park System's parks and recreation areas have unplanned encounters with animals. Some folks get too close to the critters while looking to snap a selfie or two. Wild animals are not playthings and can hurt or even kill you.

Even people with a great deal of experience in the wild can be hurt by animals just by being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

On Sunday, May 19, 2024, 35-year-old Shayne Patrick of South Hadley, Massachusetts was mauled by a grizzly bear at Grand Teton National Park. Patrick is a wildlife photographer and was scouting out a great grey owl habitat when he got too close to a mother grizzly protecting her cubs.

How A Massachusetts Man Survived A Grizzly Attack In Wyoming
Barry Richard/Townsquare Media.com

Patrick posted to his Instagram account that he spotted a brown bear cub and knew immediately, "This wasn't good."

"I unholstered my bear spray and saw the mother bear charging," he wrote.

Patrick said he stood his ground and attempted to deploy the bear spray, but "as I did, she already closed the gap."

"I laid down in the prone position on my belly and braced for the ride, interlocking my hands behind my neck to protect my vitals," Patrick wrote.

Patrick, a disabled Army Reserve veteran, posted, "I've experienced being shot at, mortared, and IED explosions," but the bear attack was "the most violent thing I have ever experienced."

What saved Patrick's life was the bear spray canister. When the bear "went in for the kill bite," it bit into the canister, causing it to explode. The explosion scared the bear off.

Patrick suffered serious injuries in the attack but will recover.

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Gallery Credit: Angela Underwood

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