Dalton Roach, a Minor League Baseball player in the St. Louis Cardinals' system, suffered a minor injury to his back in a way that you've probably never heard before. He was bit by a black bear earlier in October. According to a report by Eric Lindquist of the Leader-Telegram, Roach had been on a hunting trip for deer in the woods of Trempealeau County in Wisconsin when the bear approached as Roach was situated in a tree stand.
Standing at nearly 20 feet above the ground, Roach had initially been filming his encountering a wild bear from what he thought was a safe distance. However, the bear ended up coming underneath Roach's tree and began to climb, coming up behind Roach and placing his paw on his lap while biting at his back.
"Right when I thought this might be it, I decided I wasn't going to just go out and it was better to at least try to do something to get out of this situation," Roach said, before explaining that he made himself large and began to scream in an effort to get the bear to back down. "Luckily, he kind of leaned back, seemed to say, 'What the heck,' and eventually got out of the tree."
Roach was fortunate that he had encountered specifically a black bear. According to the North American Bear Center, black bears are much more timid and reticent than other bears, and their most common aggressive displays are actually a reflection of their own nervousness.
Briefing a friend on the situation while also readying his bow in case the bear came back, Roach eventually got out of the tree once the bear was out of sight and later went to the emergency room to have the wound treated. Roach had his wound cleaned with saline, was given a tetanus shot, a prescription for antibiotics and was also given his first injections of a rabies vaccine regimen.
Roach stated that his puncture marks from the bite were tender, but not particularly painful unless pressure was applied to them.
"I'm pretty fortunate that it's not some big nasty bite that took off half my back and that I'm still here and able to talk about it today," said Roach.
Roach, who plays pitcher for the Cardinals' AA team in Springfield, Missouri, plans to continue to hunt while pursuing his dream of playing in the Major Leagues.