Hiker Survives 3 Months in Wilderness Following Bear Attack

Rescuers find hiker hours before death, say police.

ByABC News
November 1, 2013, 12:14 PM
An american black bear lets out a roar.
An american black bear lets out a roar.
Roberto A Sanchez/Getty Images

Nov. 1, 2013 — -- A hiker was rescued after surviving a bear attack and spending three months, exposed to snow and freezing temperatures, in a remote corner of northern Canada, police said.

Police located Marco Lavoie, 44, in the wilderness near Waskaganish, Quebec, on Wednesday, 10 days after his family reported him missing and nearly a month after the experienced outdoorsman was expected to return from a two month hiking expedition.

Police believe Lavoie survived the bear attack uninjured, sometime in August, when his German shepherd got in between the man and the bear, Sgt. Ronald McInnis, spokesman for the Quebec Provincial Police told ABCNews.com.

"The bear ate the man's food and damaged his survival equipment," said McInnis, "But his dog went between the man and the bear and protected him. The man was not injured in the attack."

McInnis would not say what became of the dog and would not comment on reports that Lavoie may have eaten the dog to survive.

Lavoie suffered "hypothermia, dehydration and starvation," police said, but he is expected to survive his injuries.

The hunt for Lavoie was initially hampered by heavy snow and high winds that grounded helicopters on Oct. 21, but on Oct. 30 a chopper crew spotted Lavoie and officers were dropped in the area that was described by McInnis as "wild."

Lavoie was too weak to walk, and a QPP officer carried the man on his back for nearly two miles to the helicopter, a trip that due to snow and rugged terrain took three hours, McInnis said.

Cops believed the man would have been dead within hours had he not been rescued. He was too weak to eat or drink water and is receiving fluids via IV.

Police are waiting for the man to further recover in order to continue their interview and learn exactly why he was unable to escape the wilderness and the measures he took to survive.