RUSSIA ~ A MAN who survived a bear attack claims he was able to fight off the animal by biting off its tongue.

Nikolay Irgit was collecting deer and elk antlers in a local forest reserve in southern Siberia with his two friends when they were attacked by the bear.

“When I saw the bear, at first I froze in horror,” the 35-year-old said.

“I didn’t have any weapons, not even a knife. I began to scream. I thought it would not attack, but the bear charged towards me.”

Nikolay claims he punched the bear in the face and bit off part of its tongue.The wounded animal fled into the forest.

Doctors said the man was lucky to survive the encounter. Despite the gruesome wounds to his face, scalp, arms and abdomen, he is expected to make a full recovery.

The journey into the forest was dangerous and illegal since the men had no permits for collecting the deer and elk antlers.

Despite his miraculous escape, Nikolay and his friends will be fined for illegally hunting antlers without a licence.

The bear is likely to be shot and killed because it attacked a human. – NEWS24