Bear necessity: Swiss man sacrifices arm in bear attack

Photo via Facebook/ ข่าวช่องวัน

A Swiss man cut off his right arm as a bear locked his teeth onto his arm and stubbornly refused to release its grip while he was volunteering at a wildlife foundation in the northern province of Chiang Mai.

The 32 year old Swiss man is in a private hospital in Chiang Mai province after being attacked by the Asian black bear at the wildlife foundation in Chiang Dao district of the province yesterday, January 25.

ThaiRath reported that the Swiss man was feeding the bear in its cage. He stuck his right arm into the cage to place food on a tray and was immediately attacked by the bear. He tried to get his arm back but the bear would not let him go.

The Swiss man then took out a knife and cut off his arm in a bid to save his life. Prompted by the urgency of the situation, fellow members of the foundation swiftly administered first aid and transported him to Chiang Dao Hospital, from where he was later transferred to a private hospital in the province’s central area.

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The foreign national severed his arm at the elbow, with the limb sustaining crushing damage during the attack. Surgery was scheduled at the private hospital, although there has been no indication regarding the feasibility of reattaching the limb.

Many Thai netizens expressed their concern about the Swiss man’s condition. Others praised him for his kind and brave heart for choosing to cut off his arm instead of hurting the bear.

“Cutting off his arm instead of hurting the bear. I respect his love for the animal!”

“Respect! So brave!”

“Wish your operation goes well.”

“Losing your arm to save an animal’s life. Get well soon!”

“I hope the good things you have done will bring you luck in the operation.”

“He could have just stabbed the bear to survive, but he didn’t. You have a heart of gold!”

ThaiRath reported that this Asian black bear was rescued in 2013 after getting lost outside the forest. It was initially under the care of Doi Pha Daeng National Park in Chiang Dao district before being transferred to this wildlife foundation due to limited space at the national park.

Northern Thailand NewsThailand News

Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger who focuses on translating breakingThai news stories into English. With a background in field journalism, Petch brings several years of experience to the English News desk at The Thaiger. Before joining The Thaiger, Petch worked as a content writer for several known blogging sites in Bangkok, including Happio and The Smart Local. Her articles have been syndicated by many big publishers in Thailand and internationally, including the Daily Mail, The Sun and the Bangkok Post. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp! But during office hours, you can find Petch on LinkedIn and you can reach her by email at

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