President and Sister Dunn

Thursday, August 14, 2014

20 Year Anniversary of Bear Attack!

*To get a sweet version of this same story, visit our daughter's (Emi Dunn Rigby) blog. She really shares such a sweet appreciation for the events of that day 20 years ago. Thanks, Em!!

On August 14, 1994 President Michael Dunn was attacked by a Grizzly Bear in Grand Teton National Park and miraculously survived.  He was the first person in the 54 year history of the park to be attacked by a bear. We celebrate today his survival and wonderful life. Here are a few snapshots in honor of his life and God's hand in saving it! We celebrate this 20th year Anniversary with this blog post!!

We loved the Tetons and thanks to my parents wonderful tradition, we never missed a summer where we did not spend as much time as possible in this beautiful part of the world. My father, Kenneth Ralph Poulson really set this tradition and was never happier than in the shadows of the Tetons with his family.  Grandpa Kenny, Jeffrey and Michael in 1986.

This picture taken the summer Michael was attacked, just prior to our trip to the Tetons. Jeff, 10, Brady, 8 and little Emily only 4. Our dog Kea was always in the picture!

We had moved to Park City that same year and bought a home just a mile or so away from where my parents lived.

After the attack, in the hospital in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Kids kept their sense of humor and so did the Bear..Man! He told the kids right after seeing him for the first time.  "Remember kids, don't feed the bears.."

Just one year later, Michael was able to get his running legs back and with the help of our two sons, Jeff and Brady, he crossed the St. George Marathon in record time and was able to qualify to run in the Boston Marathon the next spring!
We were certainly blessed to have our husband and father around and with us for all the memories and experiences of life. Never does a day go by that we don't count our blessings.
He felt so lucky to be alive, that he signed up for the challenging Wasatch 100 and completed it, not just once but twice. His passion for life and zest for living only increased by surviving a life threatening experience.

How blessed to have his example to be with our sons as they served honorable missions

We have returned to the Tetons every year before and since the attack. In our  3 year mission pause, our children are keeping the tradition alive for us with their  families.

The Lord has had many opportunities for President Dunn to continue to share his love of the Lord. We  have been so blessed by the many opportunities to share his story and testimony of God saving his life and guiding his path. He has given over 1000 firesides and bear talks in the past 20 years. He has been generous with his time to always thank God for saving his life that day. These were the first words out of his mouth that day.
I am certainly blessed to be not only his eternal companion, but also his junior companion on this most amazing 3 year journey.  I am sure he will have chance to share this story of a bear survival and God's loving hand in this land of Africa. We know that the Lord has work for us to do and the gift of life brings the expectation and responsibility to share a message of God's love and gospel to all we can.
Long may he ride!


  1. Great pictures mom. You are quite the blogger. The last pic looks like it could be me biking...

  2. I wanted to share your bear attack story with my in-laws. When I googled it today this post came up! So fun to find your blog and see these pictures! I am grateful you survived that bear attack 20 years ago and we had the opportunity to know you. I have no doubt you are wonderful leaders in Johannesburg.