Father who had face chewed off by a bear gets 'revenge' by turning animal into kebab

8 February 2024, 16:16 | Updated: 8 February 2024, 16:25

Pär Sundström
Pär Sundström. Picture: Social media

By Emma Soteriou

A father and son who were attacked by a bear in Sweden while on a hunting trip got their "ultimate revenge" by shooting it dead and turning it into kebabs.

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Pär Sundström, 42, had his face chewed off after being smashed to the ground by the bear in August 2023.

He and his son Evert, 14, had been on a bear hunt and were told the animal was close by when they saw it coming towards them.

The female bear swerved a shot and took aim at Pär, charging towards him at full speed. She bit into his cheek and he was forced to shoot at her again as she stood over him.

Evert then stepped in, using his karate skills to punch the bear in the head in a desperate attempt to defend his father.

"I got so terribly angry and thought I had to do something..." Evert said. "I practice karate and I ran forward and hit the bear's head as hard as I could with my clenched hand. Then I don't remember anything."

The enraged animal turned on him, biting his arm and throwing him around - giving Pär enough time to grab his rifle and shoot it dead.

As the father and son were airlifted to hospital, fellow hunters arrived to process the bear. There was enough meat to supply the family for months, with them making kebabs, tacos and goulash.

"Stuffing a taco with the meat of a bear that bit me in the face was truly the ultimate revenge in my eyes," Pär told Aftonbladet.

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Recollecting his experience, Pär said: "I needed to wait for the right sight to shoot, so that Evert wouldn't be behind the bear and risk being hit."

It was after Evert's intervention that he realised that he had lost chunks of his face during the attack.

"It splattered like hell, there was blood everywhere," the 42-year-old said. He picked up parts of his face off the forest floor with hopes of it being reattached.

"It was a big piece and I didn't want to waste it because I thought they would be able to sew it back in the hospital," he said.

Evert called emergency services and his dad was airlifted to hospital before being rushed into a 13-hour surgery.

"I was relieved that the bear couldn't do any more damage, but it was terrible to see dad," he said.

"I think Evert is a hero because I think he saved my life right then and there, simply because he reacted as quickly as he did," Pär added.

Doctors tried to sew his cheek back on but failed. They instead had to reconstruct it using flesh from his thigh.

There is an estimated population of around 3,000 brown bears in Sweden.

They tend to stay away from humans but there have been several instances of attacks in the country - mostly by females who are trying to defend their cubs.