Sue Aikens, renowned for her appearances on “Life Below Zero,” has a remarkable story of survival that many fans might not be aware of. While she continues to thrive in the Arctic wilderness, few know that she once faced a brutal bear attack. In the unforgiving, remote regions of Alaska, individuals like Sue endure frigid temperatures of minus-60 degrees and must battle for their basic necessities. Let’s delve into the harrowing bear encounter that shaped Sue’s life and discover how she managed to escape this ferocious predator alive.
Sue Aiken’s Encounter with a Grizzly Bear
Several years ago, Sue Aiken confronted a terrifying ordeal when she was mauled by a grizzly bear. At the time, she was working at the secluded Kavik plane refueling station, a remote facility in Alaska that she operates single-handedly. Remarkably, she went unnoticed for ten agonizing days after the attack. The bear’s ferocity left her with dislocated hips, and she bore bite marks on her skull. Some might say that during those ten days, she was half-dead.Both of Sue’s hips had been dislocated during the attack, but the physical pain was just one aspect of her ordeal. With immense strength and resilience, she had to tend to her own wounds and summon the courage to confront the bear once more. Subsequently, she retreated to her cabin, where she had no choice but to recover while awaiting medical assistance.
In her own words, Sue recounted the terrifying moment:
“I knew I had a juvenile male that was trying to take over my territory. I had no clue. I looked and looked. At the time that he attacked me, I was getting my last pumping of water from the Kavik River before it froze solid. And to do that, I have to put the pump in the river. So I glanced around, glanced around, looked, didn’t see him anywhere. I had to set the rifle down to pick up the pump and get it in the water. And he ended up hiding in a little bit of the cut bank and snatched me up.”
Surviving the Brutal Bear Attack
After being pounced on and dragged by the bear, with its teeth sinking into her skull, many would assume that survival was impossible. However, Sue’s survival instincts kicked in when she realized she had one remaining option: to play dead, hoping to avoid bleeding out in the snow. Complicating matters further, her trusty rifle was yards away by the riverbank while the bear continued to maul her.Remarkably, this life-threatening encounter wasn’t entirely unexpected for Sue, who had spent her life living alone in the wild. Fortunately, the bear eventually retreated into the river. It was Sue’s swift thinking, knowledge, and experience that likely saved her life. She recognized the importance of stitching her wounds to prevent infection.Subsequently, Sue was located, airlifted to a hospital where her injuries were treated, and made a complete recovery.
Life After the Attack
The bear attack did not deter Sue from her chosen lifestyle. She continues to be the sole proprietor and operator of Kavik River Camp, the very location where the harrowing incident occurred. Despite living alone in this remote wilderness, Sue has found a support system in her malamute dogs, two children, and three grandchildren.Since the attack, Sue has imparted valuable wisdom. She shared her perspective with The Mirror, emphasizing the importance of being comfortable with the idea of one’s mortality when living her lifestyle. While she doesn’t actively seek danger, she ensures to express love to her dear ones and seize each day.In addition to her income from the show, which stands at $200,000 annually, Sue is also involved in a movie project as an executive producer.Sue Aikens’s remarkable journey from surviving a brutal bear attack to continuing her solitary life in the Alaskan wilderness serves as a testament to her indomitable spirit and unwavering determination to thrive in the face of adversity.