Today at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, presented a Medal of Bravery to Mr. Peter Richard Moody.
Moody was nominated for the award by his son and will receive it in recognition of his actions on November 25, 2012, when he and wife, Susan Bond, were attacked by a grizzly bear.
The couple had been hiking near their home on LD Ranch Road east of Kimberley on a sunny afternoon when they startled a grizzly sow and her cubs near a deer kill.
The Governor General read the following at the ceremony:
“On November 25, 2012, Peter Moody risked his life to protect his wife who was being attacked by a bear in Kimberley, British Columbia. The couple was hiking in a wooded area when they encountered the grizzly, which attacked the woman and pinned her to the ground. Using a ski pole as a weapon, Mr. Moody diverted the bear’s attention, even after having been attacked himself. The couple remained motionless to convince the bear they were no threat. After the bear left the area, the severely injured couple managed to walk to a nearby house where they found help.”
Moody spoke to the Bulletin in 2013, a few months after the incident and described what happened that day.
“The bear is on top of Susan, snuffling, doing some damage. I couldn’t see exactly what she was doing. I always hike with ski poles because I have dodgy knees. So I just instinctively beat on the back of the bear with the poles. I don’t have a clear memory of what she did when she turned, but she put me on the ground. She could have hit me or I could have tripped. She was on top of me and went for my legs.
“Then she left and went back to Susan. I could still stand. I got up and whacked her maybe half a dozen times. She has thick skin and a lot of hair so I don’t know how effective it was, but again she turned on me. I went down again.
“I was lying on my back and my left side, and I had my left arm up in the air. I looked up and saw her jaws and teeth coming down on me. My first instinct was to punch into her mouth, but then I thought, I’m giving her my fist — I will lose my hand and arm. So instead of punching, I wrapped my arm around my head.
“Her teeth dragged across my skull, tore my scalp. She went back to Susan a third time.
“When I saw that, I thought what do I do now? I wasn’t sure I could stand. But then she left.”
Created in 1972, Decorations for Bravery recognize people who risked their lives to try to save or protect the lives of others.