Amber Kornak is a survivor. Two weeks after landing a job as a grizzly bear wildlife technician for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, she was attacked and mauled by a grizzly bear.

Kornak, who was working alone collecting samples for the first time in the remote Cabinet Mountains in Montana, was mercilessly mauled by a bear near a stream during the sneak attack. Kornak was mauled from behind.


In what can only be described as a real life scene ripped from hit movie, The Revenant, Kornak suffered a fractured skull and other serious injuries in the brutal and prolonged attack.

Amazingly, Kornak was able to successfully fend off the large bear with the help of a handy can of government-issue bear repellant.

After the ferocious grizzly relented, a severely injured Kornak hiked 2 miles to her work vehicle.

“Somehow (Kornak) managed to stay calm and hike 2 miles from the site of the attack to her work vehicle where she then drove to find help,” a person familiar with the case wrote.

Her first project was to collect grizzly bear hair samples from objects the animals rub up against in an effort to analyze the DNA. Family members called it her lifetime career goal.

“She’s obviously passionate about all wildlife, but her dream and her primary focus was to work with grizzly bears,” her friend Jenna Hemer wrote on a GoFundMe page.

Via GoFundMe:

“Friends and love ones,

Please keep our dear Amber Kornak and her family in your thoughts and prayers. As those who know her may know, it has been Amber’s dream to work with grizzly bears. She recently accepted a seasonal position in Libby, Montana for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a Grizzly Bear Wildlife Technician.

On the morning of Thursday, May 17th, 2018, while working alone remotely in the Cabinet Mountains south of Libby, MT she was mauled by a bear, suffering 2 skull fractures as well as severe lacerations to her head, neck, and back. As the bear attacked her from behind she was able to reach her bear spray and spray the deterrent to ward off the bear, and also spraying herself. Amber’s wildlife training skills kicked in, and she somehow managed to stay calm and hike 2 miles from the site of the attack to her work vehicle where she then drove to find help. 911 was called and she was driven to an ambulance, delivered to life flight, and flown to Kalispell Regional Medical Center.

Once arriving at the hospital, she endured 4 grueling hours of surgery to remove bone fragments and clean wounds to her brain. Metal plates and screws were placed on her skull and drains were placed in her brain to relieve brain swelling and drain fluid. The lacerations to her scalp, neck, and back were also debrided.

Her condition is now stable, and she is recovering in the ICU where they can keep her comfortable with pain medications and monitor her for seizures (from the brain swelling) and watch for signs of infection (from the extent of her wounds).

Anyone who knows Amber knows that she is fierce, and will fight like hell to recover as quickly as possible. However, this has created quite an obstacle for her. Her family and friends are reaching out in order to help her with her monthly bills while she is out of work indefinitely. No donation is too small, and would be greatly appreciated along with your thoughts and prayers.

100% of proceeds will go directly to Amber Kornak.

I will do my best to continue providing necessary updates throughout Amber’s recovery.

Thank you so much!

Jenna Hemer”

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