Veteran Was Attacked by Protective Grizzly Bear Defending Her Cub — Here’s What He Did to Survive

"She just bit down each leg and she picked me up and kind of thrashed me around," Shayne Patrick Burke said of his dangerous encounter

<p>Good Morning America/X; Claus Cramer / 500px / Getty</p> Shayne Patrick on ABC News (left); stock image of a bear

Good Morning America/X; Claus Cramer / 500px / Getty

Shayne Patrick on ABC News (left); stock image of a bear

A 35-year-old man who was attacked by a grizzly bear is detailing how he survived.

On Thursday, May 30, Shayne Patrick Burke shared the details of his dangerous encounter in an interview with ABC News.

Shayne, a veteran who has been deployed to Iraq twice and survived a brain tumor, shared that he and his wife Chloe Burke were on their honeymoon at Wyoming's Grand Teton National Park earlier this month when he decided to hike in a different direction in search of a "particular owl," per the outlet. It was at this point that he encountered a bear cub, and its protective mother.

"I locked up," Shayne recalled to ABC News. "It's the decision making in such a fearful moment. It's insane how fast it all happens. I don't know. I just went to pure instinct."

He added that although he was carrying bear spray he quickly realized, he was "not going to be able to spray this animal."

"That's when I ducked and covered. She just bit down on each leg, and she picked me up and kind of thrashed me around," he continued. "That's when she went towards my head. But I kept my hands interlocked ... just trying to protect my arteries in my neck. She bent down and got my left wrist and my right hand."

Related: Mama Bear Attacks Driver Head-on, Smashes Truck Windshield - See the Video

<p>Getty</p> Grand Teton National Park sign


Grand Teton National Park sign

Shayne recalled hearing a "pop" sound and thinking the bear had punctured his skull. However, the bear had bitten into his can of bear spray, which caused her to run away.

"The pepper kind of hit me and I was like, 'you're still alive,' " the veteran said.

Related: Tourist Mauled After Rolling Down Window to Take Selfie with Bear

Following the attack, Shayne was able to climb to safety and call his wife, who is an EMT. Chloe instructed her husband to make tourniquets in hopes of slowing the bleeding.

"I hung up the phone not knowing if I had just spoken to my husband for the last time," Chloe told ABC News.

When rangers reached Shayne, he asked them to not kill the bear and explained that she was just protecting her cub. The rangers agreed that the mama bear was looking after her cub's best interests, and so she did not have to be euthanized.

<p>Getty</p> Stock image of a bear


Stock image of a bear

"No one ever starts their day thinking, 'I'm gonna get attacked by a bear today.' It happened to us. And I'm just really grateful that my husband was prepared and had these wonderful instincts to be able to preserve his life and make it back to us," Chloe added.

Following the attack, a press release was shared on the National Park Service website which confirmed that Shayne was "seriously injured by a bear in the area of the Signal Mountain Summit Road.”

Related: Moose Kills Alaska Man Who Was Trying to Photograph Her Newborn Babies

The release stated that park rangers and Teton County Search and Rescue personnel provided emergency medical care, and Shayne was airlifted by helicopter to an ambulance that brought him to the nearby St. John's Hospital.

"Based on initial reports from the injured visitor and preliminary information conducted as part of an ongoing investigation of the site, law enforcement rangers and park biologists believe the incident was a surprise encounter with two grizzly bears, with one of the bears contacting and injuring the visitor," the release added.

The website confirmed that Signal Mountain Summit Road and the Signal Mountain Trail were closed to the public following the attack.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

Shayne called the bear encounter "the most violent thing I have ever experienced" in a Facebook post shared on May 23.

"The number one thing that kept me alive during the attack was reading and understanding what to do in the event of a bear attack and being prepared with the bear spray," he wrote. "Though I am not sure if I got to spray any at the bear, having it on me and keeping it in my hands while protecting my vitals 100% is the only reason I am telling my story now."

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.