New Mexico Camper Get 16 Staples In His Head After Waking Up In A Black Bear’s Mouth

A black bear with brown eyes
Bill Pennell

The unpredictability of nature at its finest.

According to Outdoor Life, New Mexico rancher Dean Dommer says that he’s had more than 100 black bear sightings in the past year around Glorieta Pass in the Santa Fe National Forest, and all of the encounters were peaceful.

He believes it’s because of a recent wildfire that burned more than 340,000 acres that brought bears towards his property, along with the pond and hummingbird feeders that are there as well.

However, there’s always that one encounter out of 100 that could nearly leave you fighting for your life.

And that small chance turned into a terrifying reality, when Paul Georgoulis, a camper on Dommer’s property, was attacked by a black bear.

Georgoulis was on his way to West Texas, from Colorado, when his plans fell through so having camped on Dommer’s New Mexico property before, he asked if he could make camp there again. This time however, it was bear season.

He tried to find a campsite away from the bear trails, but accidentally wound up pitching his tent smack dab on the trail. BIG mistake…

Dommer recalled:

“I didn’t see where he camped until after the attack, but it turns out he ended up accidentally camping right on a bear trail.”

Georgoulis also weighed in on the moments leading up to the terrifying attack:

“I could hear it sniffing like a dog, so I kind of froze up and didn’t do anything for a split second, and then it put its teeth around my head and started to bite.

All I could think was ‘well, I have two options right now: keep letting it do what it’s doing or scream as loud as you can.’ So I tried screaming and it let go of me.

It did that lumbering walk away the bears do when they’re scared.”

Dommer recalls him running up to the house covered in blood:

“He showed up at my door and he was obviously distraught and kind of bleeding profusely from the head.”

Georgoulis laughed it off, calling it a Deliverance moment:

“It was like something out of he movie ‘Deliverance.’ I was in my underwear, bleeding like a stuck pig, screaming and running at this log cabin in the middle of nowhere.”

Georgoulis then went to the hospital, where he received 16 staples from his gruesome injury, but overall was okay.

Ultimately, it could’ve been much worse, but seems like an unlucky case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time… and I guess having an interesting-smelling head.


Head wound
Paul Georgoulis
A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock