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The Bear Attacked, So She 'Popped It Right in the Nose'

Woman survives ambush by black bear in Washington state while walking dog
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 24, 2022 12:47 PM CDT
The Bear Attacked, So She 'Popped It Right in the Nose'
Stock photo of a bear.   (Getty Images/Henry-Luis Lapointe-Guevara)

A woman in Washington state is lucky to be alive after a routine morning task ended up with her fighting an unexpected visitor. Per the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, the resident in the mountainous town of Leavenworth brought her dog outside for a walk around 7am Saturday, when a black bear emerged, charged at her, and sent her flying to the ground, reports NBC News. That's when the victim, who KIRO 7 says is in her 60s, decided to fight back, punching the bear in the face, causing the bear to back off and flee, wildlife officials say.

Although it can be difficult to remember what to do in such a terrifying situation, Rich Beausoleil, a wildlife biologist with the state, tells KING the victim did the absolute right thing. "She didn't see it coming, so she could not make herself big, clap her hands, you know, yell at the bear, wave her arms ... the things we usually tell people to do," he says. And so, "it was just instinct for her. She just turned around and popped it right in the nose." The Chelan County Sheriff's Office says the attack lasted just a few seconds, and that the woman was able to make it back to her home.

She was taken to a hospital in nearby Wenatchee with significant injuries, though Fish & Wildlife say she's expected to survive. The department tells KING the bear was killed in the vicinity later Saturday morning. Fish & Wildlife officials say they tracked down a pair of 9-month-old cubs that they believe belonged to the mother bear, and the youngsters were brought to a wildlife rehab center. Fatal attacks from black bears in the state are exceedingly rare: Fish & Wildlife says the only such deadly incident in Washington took place in the early 1970s. (More bears stories.)

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