The Brutal Bear Attack Life Below Zero's Sue Aikens Survived

In 2007, Sue Aikens, star of "Life Below Zero," was attacked by a grizzly bear while near Kavik River, Alaska, as she was getting water. She'd seen the bear before, burying caribou near her camp. Unfortunately, she knew she'd have to move the animals buried, not only to deter the bear from getting too close but to clear up the space, which was used as a helicopter landing pad.

Sue usually carried a rifle with her, and she did so on the day she attacked. However, to operate the pump that pulled water from the nearby river, she had to put it down so she could use both hands. As soon as she did, the bear came out from the riverbank and pushed her to the ground. Sue quickly played docile, which could be what saved her life since he was trying to be more dominant than actually looking for a meal. This isn't a standard practice, as you should usually think twice before playing dead if you see a bear, but it worked out in Sue's favor this time.

According to the Daily Record, Sue Aikins explained her reasoning as such, "[The bear] is putting it out, 'I'm going to kick your butt unless you give it to me willingly.' He gets more points on the alpha scale if I say, 'Oh no, you're so bad, I'm leaving.'"

It took ten days for someone to find her

The details of the attack are minimal, but Sue Aikens did say she was beaten up pretty badly, left with dislocated hips and open wounds in her head from where the bear bit her. Once he dropped her, she attended to her wounds the best she could, sewing up injuries, and even went and killed the bear.

After the wounds were taken care of and the bear was dead, Sue made her way back to her cabin. She made an effort to call people nearby and even local troopers, but they were unable to find her. In fact, it took 10 days before she was rescued.

After being airlifted to the hospital, Sue Aikens made a full recovery. Both of her hips were put back into place, and the wounds on her head closed up. But small remnants of the attack still remain. "He put their jaws on the throat and tightened, and you can still feel where his teeth went into my head, top and bottom, and he bluff charged me," Sue said later during the Daily Record interview.

Sue Aikens didn't let the attack ruin her passion for the outdoors

While it's not an experience that Sue Aikens desires to repeat, she didn't let the attack scare her away from remote Alaska. This wasn't the first wildlife encounter Sue had experienced, and it's likely not to be her last. "If you live my lifestyle, you must be comfortable with your own death," was another statement Sue made during her interview.

Now, she takes extra precautions and makes sure that she's always ready to defend herself so a situation like this doesn't happen again. In fact, as she recovered, Sue went right back to her home. Though she still lives alone, she hasn't relinquished ownership and allows visitors to the Kavik River Camp from "Life Below Zero." It's not easy finding someone willing to confront death every day like she is.

This isn't something that upsets her, and she doesn't feel lonely. She has dogs that keep her company in Alaska. Also, though they live far away, she has two adult children and their kids that she loves dearly, even if she doesn't see them all the time.