A woman survived a mauling by a bear by repeatedly punching the animal and crawling into a bush as her Chihuahua-mix distracted the beast, the AP reports. Melinda LeBarron has broken bones, cuts and bruises and multiple bites after the attack outside her home in rural Pennsylvania on Wednesday evening, her son said. She remained hospitalized in critical condition Friday. Her dog—fittingly named Bear—was also bitten several times and has a broken sternum and separated ribs. "I'll just put it this way — she's very, very lucky to be alive," said her son, Trent LeBarron, who described her as a tough person. "She was punching the bear and everything. Her right hand's all swollen up from punching the bear."
The attack began when she went outside with her dog around 6pm. When Bear the dog barked, Melinda LeBarron, 51, looked around to see what had startled the canine. "The next thing she knew, she was on the ground getting slammed around," said her son. The black bear dragged Melinda about 80 yards through her yard, across a road, and into a thicket, while the dog tried to intervene, biting the black bear several times. "As she said in her own words, the bear wouldn't show her no mercy at all," Trent LeBarron said. Eventually Melinda LeBarron went limp, and the bear took an interest in the dog, giving her a chance to climb into a small bush. She then threw a stick to distract the bear and finally made her way home to call a relative for help. Bear the dog somehow got back into the home and was found whimpering beneath a bed.
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