A man ‘looking like a mummy’ was rescued from a bear den after the animal broke his spine and tossed him into the back of its lair to save for a later meal.
Named only as Alexander, the man was found by hunting dogs after the bear kept him in its den for a whole month in ‘s remote Tuva region.
Close to death, the emaciated man was rushed to hospital where doctors discovered he had broken his spine in a fight with the brown bear.
He told them that the large animal had overpowered him and saved him as food for later.
Brown bears are known to hide their prey and return to feast on it later.
Talking about his experience, Alexander said: ‘The bear preserved me as food for later.’
He added that he drank his own urine to survive, and doctors said it was a ‘miracle’ that he wasn’t killed.
A group of Russian hunters found Alexander after their dogs barked and refused to move on from a bear den they passed in the forest in mountainous Tuva, according to reports.
The hunters checked inside the lair and saw what they believed was a human mummy – until they released he was alive.
Local reports said that the man remembers his first name but not his surname or age.
A hospital video shows the bearded man opening his blue eyes and confirming his first name.
He was described as having ‘severe injuries and rotting tissue’ from lying motionless for so long in the den.
‘Local medics say they cannot explain how the man survived such injuries,’ said the report.
The exact location where he was found has not been revealed, nor the name of the hospital where he was treated.
He was spoken to by medical staff in Russian rather than the local Tuvan language.
The shocking story has drawn comparisons to Leonardo Di Caprio’s Oscar-winning role in the Revenant, where his character survives a brutal bear attack.
The Tuva region is favoured by Vladimir Putin for vacations.