‘Life Below Zero’ Revisits Sue Aikens’ Horrific Bear Attack

Below Zero - Susan Aikens

National Geographic’s Life Below Zero features Sue Aikens, 61, who lives north of the Arctic Circle. It’s cold, dangerous, and she’s tough. However, some people are frustrated because she seems fearful all the time. So, let’s take a look at her bear attack, to put some of her wariness into perspective.

Sue Aikens Starts Getting More Admirers

It’s easy to sit back with popcorn and criticize those who live in Alaska. An often-mentioned criticism is that some of the characters seem to think they are superior beings because their lives are so much more meaningful than nine-to-fivers. Meanwhile, others think that the cast of Life Below Zero exaggerates the danger. Some fingers were pointed at Sue, but as time goes by, she gets more respect. 

Life In Alaska - Sue Aikens - National Geographic
Life In Alaska – Sue Aikens – National Geographic

National Geographic star, Sue Aikens has a motto that she applies to her life: “If it hurts, don’t think about it.” Possibly, she used that philosophy when she lay out injured and alone with wild bears nearby. She appeared in the show for 10 years, but besides that, she worked hard at an isolated fuel station. Did you know that her mom abandoned her as a child, and she put herself through life’s lessons? One of those hard-learned lessons was to never drop your guard near a bear.

National Geographic Star Attacked By A Bear In 2007

At the age of 44, a terrifying bear attack happened, and in 2016, the Daily Record, UK recounted her scary experience as related on The Travel Channel. This week, Distractify reminded viewers of Life Below Zero about the harrowing incident in remote Alaska. You probably noticed that she always has her rifle close to hand. And, it saved her life. But, her grit and determination also kept her alive.

Life Below Zero - Bear Tracks - National Geographic
Life Below Zero – Bear Tracks – National Geographic

Sue Aikens saw that some bears were around, and a young grizzly buried a caribou near her camp. Aware of it, she knew that caution needed to happen. Unfortunately, she couldn’t leave it because it happened to be on her helipad. Clearly, the young bear felt irritated with her interference. So, when the National Geographic star went to “pump some water” near the river, it attacked. Although she had her rifle, she had put it down to use the pump. And the bear came storming out of the “riverbank” where it had been hiding.

Surviving A Bear Attack

The bear that attacked the Life Below Zero star was not a cuddly baby, but a young adult. And, that seemed fortunate for her. She said:

If it were a sow, I would have been dead, if it were an older male, I would have been dead.

Sue Aiken described the attack as a youngster trying to act big and strong. Therefore, she resisted fighting back, so it couldn’t have boasting rights. She added, “he snatched me up, dragged me into the tundra between the dining hall and the river.” Playing almost dead, she went along with it while it bit her, and damaged her hips.

He put [his] jaws on [my] throat and tightened, and you can still feel where his teeth went into my head, top and bottom, and he bluff charged me…He had torn the hips out of the sockets and thrown me around.

Fortunately, she got her hands on her rifle. So, Sue Aiken used her “gunbelt” to hold her hips in place and went after the grizzly. And, she shot it. But, the National Geographic star still had to patch herself up, and try and get help, But, nobody answered her because of “communication” issues.

For ten days, she lay there listening to the bears close by. And, they knew she was in there, suffering and stinking in her own body fluids. So, if she’s cautious on the show, that is perfectly understandable.

What are your thoughts about Sue Aikens surviving for so long after a grizzly bear attack? Are you a bit more understanding about her wariness since recapping her bear attack? Shout out in the comment below, and come back here for all your Life Below Zero news.

James Michael


    1. I Love the show it’s true what they and are True Alaska s doing what they love. It’s with a sad heart that Sue got attacked praying for her . I like where she bought her cabin for her retirement.
      Please don’t take it off they all are true Alaskans living the way they did back years ago.

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