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Rich Moyer, Pennsylvania Bear Attack Victim, Receives 70 Stitches

10/ 4/11 12:56 PM ET   AP

NEWPORT, Pa. — A Pennsylvania man attacked by a bear inside his home when the animal followed his dog inside has a newfound appreciation for the power of nature after he needed 70 staples and stitches to close the gaping wound on the back of his head.

"I know what it's like to be a salmon now," Richard Moyer told WHTM-TV.

His head and arms heavily bandaged, Richard Moyer said the bear ran inside his Perry County home as he let the dog in early Monday morning. Moyer and his wife, Angela, were hospitalized for bite and scratch marks but released in the afternoon.

The bear jumped on him and attacked his wife when she tried to intervene, Moyer said. Angela Moyer was knocked to the ground and dragged on to the home's patio, prompting her husband to jump back into the fray, he said.

"That's when the bear tried to make a meal out of me, and started tearing my head apart," Moyer told WHP-TV.

The 6-foot-6, 300-pound Moyer said a doctor who treated him said he was fortunate that his size helped him fight off the bear.

"I'm just thankful it stopped," Moyer told WGAL-TV. "Because if it didn't stop I might be in a box right now."

The bear was likely a female who felt her cubs were threatened by the dog, said Pennsylvania Game Commission spokesman Jerry Feaser.

"A bear encountering a dog is more likely to run away," he said.

Pennsylvania has not experienced a fatality from a black bear attack in more than a century, Feaser said.

The game commission has set up a bear trap in Moyer's yard.

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Filed by Joanna Zelman  |  Report Corrections