The Legend of Anton Tozbar - Spik

The Legend of Anton Tozbar - Spik

Page Type: Article

Tozbar - The Bear

In 1871 a nasty bear came into the poor Trenta valley, making damage. So, the best hunters of Trenta valley decided to get rid of him. It was April, 1871, when they organised a big hunt, where one group closed the whole valley of Beli potok and proceeded from bottom of the valley upwards, while the second group of five hunters went even much earlier around the mountain group (Pihavec), closing the valley from above. They knew the beast was somewhere in the steep valley, but the outcome of the hunt was uncertain.

It was morning and Anton Tozbar was on the edge of the upper group, near Planja walls, when suddenly the big brown beast appeared in front of him. No possible escape for both of them! The bear was pushed by noisy people, Tozbar was standing on the narrow ledge, the only possible passage. The first shot from some 80 feet distance was a good one, but not deadly. The animal ran further down and Tozbar after it, loading the gun once again. Suddenly the bear mounted on his last feet, prepared to attack, Tozbar aimed carefully and shot the second bullet from the distance of some 20 feet. The bear was deadly shot, but before breathing its last, reached Tozbar who could now fight only with bare hands and the empty gun. With its last powers the beast tore off Tozbar's lower jaw, when one of the other hunters came. The beast jumped after him, the man jumped up a rocky wall, holding for a pine-bush, but the beast still tore his leg. Then the bear finally died. When other hunters came, they found the poor Tozbar all in blood, but still alive.

Tozbar survived, but was doomed for the rest of his life to wear a kerchief under his nose by way of hiding and protecting the gaping wound. He could only feed on soup and liquids, so he carried the appropriate equipment all the time with him, hunting, working, guiding on mountains, living for 20 more years. At the time of accident Tozbar had one child, all others came after the accident. The story also goes (told by Julius Kugy) that one day he travelled to the dentist in Ljubljana, due to a teribble toothache (in the upper jaw, of course). The civil dentist accepted him, he took off his kerchief after which he cried 'Jesus, Maria, Josef' and lost consciousness. A military doctor was needed to take care of the poor man. The look on Tozbar's wound had to be terrible. The poor man died in a work accident, hit by a falling tree. Still nowadays you can see near his home, at the first house at the bottom of serpentines of the road over Vrsic a sign with a picture on it, showing this accident.

Source: Julius Kugy: Aus vergangener Zeit. Leykam Verlag, Graz, 1943.





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cowlitz - Feb 13, 2006 7:09 pm - Hasn't voted

Tozbar= Don't mess with bears.

I think Tozbar's real name should be "Lucky". Killed by a falling tree eh?. I'll bet that boy could eat corn on the cob, like a cotton gin eats cotton. cowlitz

Bear Claw

Bear Claw - Feb 14, 2006 9:23 pm - Hasn't voted

Abject lesson in bears

Lesson 1 - From personal experience do not venture into bear country unless armed or as crazy as Timothy Treadwell.
Lesson 2 - First shots rarely take them down - fire well; fire often

desainme

desainme - Feb 15, 2006 4:50 am - Hasn't voted

Are there any more bears

Around Triglav?

Vid Pogachnik

Vid Pogachnik - Feb 15, 2006 9:45 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Are there any more bears

Well, occasionally they pass by. But they are rare. A non-issue for mountaineering, at least in Julian Alps. Otherwise we have in our small Slovenia some 300-400 bears. They estimate that some 100 came up from Balkans area during the war in early 90s.

cedad

cedad - Feb 16, 2006 9:55 pm - Voted 10/10

Legend

Thanks for this legend. In every place, locals can tell stories that can help you to a better knowledge of the area and the people.
Last august I spent 5 days in Kobarid (Caporetto in Italian) to see the War museum, Bolnica Franja, Gorges Mlinarica and even looking for a fountain described by Hemingway who was there during the First World War, but no one could remember it. Well, next time I'll go to see the plate with the picture of the accident mentioned above.

Vid Pogachnik

Vid Pogachnik - Feb 20, 2006 10:21 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Legend

:-)

mccombs07

mccombs07 - Jan 3, 2008 8:32 pm - Hasn't voted

YES

This is one of the best stories ever written

Vid Pogachnik

Vid Pogachnik - Jan 4, 2008 10:49 am - Hasn't voted

Re: YES

:)

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