Outhouse bear attack survivor was grabbed from 'throne'
Gord Shurvell, 65, scratched up from bear attack near Ontario cabin
Posted: May 23, 2012 4:05 PM CT
Last Updated: May 23, 2012 9:44 PM CT
A Winnipeg man who was dragged out of an outhouse by a black bear is recovering at home with some cuts on his back and an amazing tale of survival.
Gord Shurvell, 65, was camping and fishing with a friend at a cabin by Dunbar Lake, about 60 kilometres north of Sioux Lookout, Ont., when the bear attacked him early Saturday.
Shurvell told CBC News he was in the outhouse, with the door wide open so he could enjoy the morning view, when the bear barged in.
"I'm sitting on the throne, and my feet are sort of up on the 'poopstool,' we call it," he said in an interview Wednesday.
"So I'm kicking at him to get away, but he grabbed my pants and that gotch that were down around my ankles. And that was the start of it, and he just kept coming."
When asked if the attack scared the "you-know-what" out of him, Shurvell replied, "It was already gone!"
"I'd already done my business," he added. "All the defence I had is a … piece of [toilet] paper in this hand."
Shurvell said the bear then dragged him by the arm through the bush, and he immediately went into survival mode.
"I know if he gets me back there and I pass out, my buddy won't know … it would take too long to find me. So I'm trying to get a tree to slow him down," he said.
Shurvell's friend, 63-year-old Daniel Alexander, said he was inside the cabin when he heard the commotion outside.
"I started out of the cabin and something clicked in, and I thought 'bear.' I turned around, went back into the cabin and got the gun," Alexander said.
"In the meantime, Gord is screaming, 'Danny, Danny, Danny! It's a bear!'"
Alexander said when he found Shurvell and the bear in the bush, he initially had a difficult time figuring out how to shoot the bear and not his friend.
'Thank God that bear turned'
"Just as I started to do that, the bear dropped Gordy and turned towards me," Alexander recalled.
"The bear was down on all fours, with his head was down. And as soon as he done that, that's when I shot him, right in the head. Thank God that that bear turned."
Shurvell escaped the attack with some scratches on his head, neck and arms, as well as a puncture in the back of his head.
Shurvell was treated in a Sioux Lookout hospital and released, and he returned to Winnipeg late Tuesday. On Wednesday, he received his third rabies treatment.
Shurvell said he is grateful for Alexander's quick action, as he believes that was the reason why he survived.
As for next time, Shurvell said he will use the outhouse without the view.
"I just left it open because it was a beautiful morning and I was sitting there, enjoying looking out there. You can imagine what those sh-thouses [can be] like," he said.
"I'll probably put up with the stench and shut the door."
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