The father-son duo, who eventually fought off and killed the bear, used chunks of meat from its body to make kebabs, tacos and goulash in an ultimate act of revenge
A father and son who were savagely attacked by a bear have carried out ‘ultimate revenge’ by shooting the animal and turning it into kebab meat.
Pär Sundström, 42, and his son Evert, then 14, were on a hunting trip with friends when a large female bear emerged from the trees and charged towards them in Ljusdal, central Sweden, last August.
The beast smashed Pär to the ground and sunk its teeth into his cheek, leaving him with injuries were so severe that he had to undergo facial reconstruction. Pär has since credited his life to his teenage son Evert, who bravely intervened by punching the bear in the head, managing to stall the attack. But the animal then turned on Evert, biting his arm and tossing him around like a rag doll. The move gave Pär enough time to grab his rifle and shoot the bear dead.
Pär was airlifted to hospital and had multiple surgeries to save his face, while Evert underwent treatment for a damaged arm. But their fellow hunters stayed behind in the forest, taking enough meat from the bear’s body to make kebabs, tacos and goulash, filling the family freezer for months on end. Pär told Swedish daily Aftonbladet: “Stuffing a taco with the meat of a bear that bit me in the face was truly the ultimate revenge in my eyes.”
Evert, who witnessed the attack yards away, told Swedish media: “I got so terribly angry and thought I had to do something… I practice karate and I ran forward and hit the bear’s head as hard as I could with my clenched hand. Then I don’t remember anything.”
Pär, who was forced to collect chunks of his own face off the forest floor in the hope they could be reattached, said he didn’t realise the true extent of his injuries until after he fired the shot. He said: “It splattered like hell, there was blood everywhere. It was a big piece and I didn’t want to waste it because I thought they would be able to sew it back in the hospital.”
Evert said: “I was relieved that the bear couldn’t do any more damage, but it was terrible to see dad.” The teen disagreed with his dad’s suggestion that their friends could drive them to the hospital and called the emergency services instead. Pär says the move likely saved his life, as he was airlifted to hospital and rushed straight into a 13-hour surgery.
The father said: “I’m happy about that today, that I have a very wise son. I think Evert is a hero because I think he saved my life right then and there, simply because he reacted as quickly as he did.” Doctors were not able to save Pär’s cheek in the end, but have him a graft skin from his thigh to reconstruct his face.
Sweden boasts one of the most dense bear populations in Europe, with around 3,000 brown bears inhabiting the forests and mountainous regions of the country. The animals are known to be opportunistic omnivores, with a varied diet consisting of berries, nuts, salmon, and occasionally small mammals.
While they typically stay away from humans, female bears who fear for the safety of their cubs have been reported to carry out multiple attacks in Sweden. Hunting bears is a popular tradition in Sweden, and is deeply rooted in folklore and other cultural practices.
Bear meat is known for its rich, gamey flavour and tender texture, as Pär desribed it: “The meat is dark, coarse, sweet and requires lots of spices. This bear lived mainly on grasses and herbs; the meat is good to eat. If a bear has eaten carrion, it’s not possible to eat. Then the meat smells like surströmming (fermented herring)!’