The married Russian pair Anton and Nina Bogdanov had taken a drive to a thermal springs beauty spot when their nightmare started.
They only planned to be away one night but their Mitsubishi Pajero got stuck in a deep puddle some 11 miles from the hot springs in Kamchatka region.
They stayed one night in the stricken vehicle then set off to walk to the tourist base at Banniye Springs in eastern Russia to summon help to free their car.
Knowing there was a threat from bears, they had scrawled a message on their windscreen: “Left for the base. Two people.”
They went halfway to the base when they realised a large wild beast was creeping up behind them.
“The bear was walking behind us, and we did not notice him straight away, he was absolutely silent,” said Nina.
“But then he ran after us.”
They raced 200 yards down a slope towards a river where they climbed a tree, she said.
“The bear nearly killed my husband.”
“I threw my water bottle at the animal to distract him, and Anton managed to climb the tree.”
After two hours the bear lunged into the branches at them – and they flung down their rucksack to force it back.
But it contained their only food, which the bear ate.
“He had all our food and then guarded us closely for two days,” said Nina.
They took it in turns to sleep and monitor the predator.
“We realised we had to stay on the tree, with no food or water,” she said.
“But the bear would not leave us alone.”
The bear moved away far enough for them to climb down, and run into the river, she said.
“I almost drowned there, but Anton finally pulled me out.
“The bear was behind us, and got carried away by the current a bit.”
They crossed to the other bank but the fear-struck couple were forced to climb a tree again as the hungry bear came close, said Nina.
“We were sitting there two more days.”
They went short distances at a time, from tree to tree, managing no more than 500 yards a day.
Anton said: “We didn’t really sleep.
“We were just hugging each other, it was very cold.”
Some 11 days after their hellish adventure started they got back to the vehicle and the bear gave up and went to find another source for its next meal.
"As soon as we reached the car, we heard noises of approaching vehicles," said Nina.
'I started crying from happiness when I saw the cars.'
A rescuer named Artur said he found the couple in their car soon after they had reached the vehicle again.
Four bear attacks on people were registered in Kamchatka in the past year, with two fatalities.
The region has some 23,000 wild bears, the largest population of the predators in Russia.
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