Woman Mauled in Incredibly Rare Bear Attack in Maryland

It appears to be state's first on record
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 18, 2016 1:22 AM CST
Woman Mauled in Incredibly Rare Bear Attack
There are believed to be more than 1,000 bears in Maryland.   (Theodore L. Hatch via AP)

(Newser) – A Maryland woman mauled by a black bear Wednesday night is lucky to be alive—but incredibly unlucky to have become the victim of the state's first bear attack in living memory. Police say 63-year-old Karen Osborne was attacked in the driveway of her home in rural Frederick after she went out with her dog to see why a dog belonging to her daughter, who lives next door, was barking, the Washington Post reports. Officials believe Osborne or her dog inadvertently came between the mother bear and her three cubs. "This is the rarest of rare," says a Maryland Natural Resources Police spokeswoman. "This is really unheard of for a bear to attack a human."

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"I'm being attacked by this bear; he's coming back. Hurry," Osborne told a 911 dispatcher. "He's broken my arms and my legs. I can't move, and I'm bleeding. And I'm going to die." Osborne needed at least 80 stitches. Her husband tells ABC News that she played dead after punching the bear in the nose didn't work. Police say the bear, which was familiar to area residents and had been tagged after getting into a chicken coop last summer, was shot as required by state wildlife management policy, NBC Washington reports. Wildlife officials say the three cubs are almost a year old and can survive without their mother. Officials haven't been able to find records of another bear attack in the state in at least 81 years. (Trying to outrun a bear is futile.)

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