Johan Otter and his 18-year-old daughter Jenna were hiking in the Glacier National Park in the Montana wilderness when they came face-to-face with an angry mother grizzly bear. “Just as the grizzly was instinctively protecting her cubs, Otter purposefully distracted the bear’s attention from his injured daughter (she broke her back), with nearly fatal results.” It was a terrifying experience. Otter was savagely attacked, clawed and bitten. He broke his neck, cracked ribs, fractured vertebrae and lost nearly 80% of his scalp. Luckily, a hiker had found them just in time.
Ten years later, Johan is back at work as an occupational therapist and hiking in the same park where he was attacked. Jenna is graduating from Columbia University medical school in May. Her specialty — emergency medicine. The Otters’ story of survival has been reenacted and will air on ABC’s “In An Instant,” on March 14 at 9pm.