The grizzly weighs up to 500 kg and, standing on its hind legs, reaches three meters in height. And this is not the limit. The nearest relatives of grizzly bears, which live in Alaska and Kodiak Island, are even larger. The weight of individual individuals reaches 700 kg, and height – 3.3 meters. These are the largest of all predators.
In ancient times, grizzlies were the full masters of the American mountains and forests. No competitors and rivals, except for each other, they did not know. Therefore, the grizzlies were very self-assured and often attacked even people if they were worried or if they thought they were being disturbed. All the Indian tribes conquered grizzlies was considered a feat, even a six or eight. Still – with spears, arrows and a stone ax against such a hulk! White with their silicic guns, round bullets and eternally damp gunpowder in fights with grizzlies also had a hard time.
One hundred and two hundred years later, in certain parts of America, it was not entirely clear who was pursuing whom, who, in fact, was a hunter and who was a game. True, grizzlies usually attacked only when they were wounded, but at the same time fully justified the nickname of the terrible bears. Even after receiving a few bullets, the furious bear continued the attack, and the hunters could not escape to salvation – unless they had time to climb a tree or jump into a boat. There were also sudden, unprovoked attacks – also, as a rule, with severe consequences.
So, for example, in 1823 in the upper reaches of Missouri near the fort Kiowa there was such a story. Captain Smith, who was heading a small hunting expedition, suddenly attacked the grizzly in the middle of the clearing. The animal first lifted a horse under it, then grabbed the rider by the head and cracked the knife handle that he was trying to protect. In a friendly volley the bear was killed, but the captain received heavy wounds. Grizzly actually took off his scalp with his huge fangs and tore off one ear, hung on a scrap of skin.
None of the companions of the captain had neither medicines nor medical knowledge. Nobody knew what to do. Finally, the captain, not losing consciousness, asked to get a needle and thread and just sew him torn skin back to his head. And sewed. Without any anesthesia – it was not there at all. The ear wanted to cut off completely, but the captain asked to sew it back to its original place – maybe it would grow. And they did. Then they helped the captain to get to the nearest brook, where they took a little rest. A few hours later, Smith was able to mount his horse again and reach the camp. He recovered, and even his torn ear really grew.
Over time, the gun barrels acquired screw rifles, then the guns became state-charging, firing many times in a row, and the bullets from round ones turned into conical ones. They flew farther and pierced the victims’ bodies deeper and deeper. And the more perfect the weapon, the cheekier the man with the former lord of the American continent managed.