A SWEDISH hunter was saved from a huge bear by his ferocious hound - Birk, a long-haired dachshund.
Lying in hospital with 65 stitches in his face, and 100 in wounds to his arms, legs and stomach, Gran Ryman, 49, said: "I saw the ground swaying as the jaws of the bear dripped with my blood ... Then I heard Birk barking and I couldn’t believe what I saw next."
The David versus Goliath battle took place deep in a forest where Mr Ryman was hunting for elk. Foresters in the small town of Rttvig told Mr Ryman how the tiny dog was found by his owner’s body with tufts of bear fur in his mouth.
Lying in intensive care, Mr Ryman recalled: "I came through a clearing and saw this bear - he was massive, around 500kg. There was no time to turn, run, climb up a tree, nothing. He was a wall of pure brute force and I didn’t even have time to raise my gun.
"I just thought to myself: ‘My God, what a way to die.’
The bear attacked Mr Ryman, inflicting several severe blows. "Birk, who weighs about three kilos, came bounding out of the forest like a rat on crack. He ran straight past me and lunged straight at the bear.
"He bit it in the leg and the bear raised himself on two legs and let out a terrible cry of pain. Then I saw Birk bit him in the stomach as the bear tried to swat him away. Just before I passed out, I saw my little friend bite him right where it hurts most - I saw him hanging off his bearhood, if you will."
Ryman came to 20 minutes later to find Birk standing guard over him and the bear gone. He called for help on his mobile phone.