Grand Teton mauling ends when grizzly bear activates bear spray

Bear spray appears to have helped save the life of a man who was attacked by a grizzly bear Sunday in Grand Teton National Park, but not in the traditional sense.

The 35-year-old visitor from Massachusetts had encountered a grizzly bear cub, which ran off, causing the man to reach for his bear spray. But momma bear attacked before the man could activate the spray.

However, according to the Cowboy State Daily, the bear chomped on the man’s bear spray canister, causing it to burst in the bruin’s face. Momma bear and her cub subsequently ran off.

The man was released from the hospital Monday and is expected to fully recover.

The National Parks Guide  reports that because momma bear attacked while defending her cub, she will not be tracked and euthanized or relocated.

According to the Cowboy State Daily, this was the first reported grizzly bear mauling of the year in Wyoming. The incident occurred near the park’s Signal Mountain Summit Road.

–Grizzly bear image courtesy of National Park Service

Story originally appeared on For The Win