"Honestly, the only thing I could think of was 'save my baby,'"
A pet parent in California proved that there's nothing we wouldn't really do for our beloved furry friends, including fighting off massive bears. According to CBS News, Kaleb Benham, who lives in Nevada County, California, wrestled a massive bear by tackling it to the ground and then punching it in the face after he saw that his pit bull, Buddy, was being attacked. Benham said that his 90-pound rescue dog was playing near his home a day before Thanksgiving when the incident occurred. Benham reportedly heard growls outside his home which prompted him to check on Buddy.
That's when he found the roughly 350-pound bear "dragging him by his head." At that time, he could only think about saving his companion from the bear's grasp. "Honestly, the only thing I could think of was 'save my baby,'" Benham said. He didn't think twice before running out and facing the bear, head-on. "I just ran down there, plowed into the bear, tackled it and grabbed it by the throat and started hitting it in the face and the eye until it let go," he said. Next, he rushed Buddy, his companion of seven years, to the nearest veterinary hospital, but found out it was closed due to a positive COVID-19 case.
A man’s love for man’s best friend is a powerful force. Kaleb Benham from Grass Valley took on a 350 pound bear that was attacking his rescue dog, “Buddy.” Kaleb said he heard a growl the saw the bear dragging buddy “by his head.” So he tackled the bear and punched it pic.twitter.com/XAhTrS2AEC— Anna Giles (@AnnaGilesTV) December 4, 2020
"My first thought was that I was going to lose him," Benham said. However, Buddy was taken to Mother Lode Veterinary Hospital in Grass Valley, where the vets performed emergency surgery on him. The procedure took about three hours and Benham was right beside Buddy the entire time while he got staples, stitches, and tubes inserted into his head to drain fluid. Benham and Buddy's story was shared on Twitter by a reporter and it's touched the lives of many! In the video, Buddy can be seen wearing a cone around his neck so he doesn't scratch it while it heals. Benham said Buddy suffered several injuries because the bear bit very close to the dog's eye, and caused a hole straight through his lip.
Buddy’s face was severely damaged. His ears had to be stapled back on. But he’s recovering! Kaleb and Buddy spent Thanksgiving laying in bed resting, but they’re more thankful than ever. Photo of Buddy as Kaleb watched from outside the operating room ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/T8IhDjkvLs— Anna Giles (@AnnaGilesTV) December 4, 2020
His ears also had to be fully stapled back on. The silver lining here is that Buddy is expected to make a full recovery. However, Benham says the bear has returned to their home several times after the incident. It's quite scary not knowing if it's still out, looking for his "catch." Benham is still trying to figure out how to get the bear to go away. "It made an attack and had its food and its food got taken from it and it wants it back, I feel like," Benham said. A GoFundMe has been set up by Benham's sister Katelyn to raise funds for Buddy's treatments. They've now stopped accepting funds, but have managed to raise over $2,200.
Image Source: GoFundMe/Help for Kaleb and Buddy