A marathon runner was attacked during a race and badly injured by a mother bear in New Mexico after scaring her cubs up a tree. The woman survived by playing dead, as she later recounted on Facebook.
The attack occurred Saturday afternoon in the Valles Calderas National Preserve near Los Alamos, officials told KOAT-TV
New Mexico Department of Game and Fish officials told the television station that the woman seemed to surprise a mother bear during the run, whose cub ran up a nearby tree.
Other runners assisted the woman until she was airlifted by a helicopter to an Albuquerque hospital, officials told KOAT-TV. The injuries did not appear to be life threatening, but her condition was not released.
The victim identified herself on the Valles Calderas Runs Facebook page
as Karen Williams, where he thanked those who treated her at the scene in a post.
"I was at mile 23.5 per Garmin and coming up a little rise just before that terrible off-trail uphill," Williams said on Facebook. "There was some sort of seep or pond or mucky area at the top of that little hill and when I topped it a bear was charging me."
"She was about 15 (feet) away. I raised my arms and yelled 'No!' then saw the cub. Then I was on my ass and being raked with claws and bitten. I cried out in pain and Mama bear did not like that so she hit me with a left hook and bit my neck and started to try to shake me."
Williams said that was when she decided to play dead and it appeared enough to allow the mother bear to tend to her cubs up in the tree about 25 to 30 feet away.
"Mama bear kept glancing my way to make sure that I was still 'dead,'" Williams said. "I was at that point afraid I might die. I didn't know what the wound on my neck was like because I did not move for fear she would come wail on me some more. I waited about 10 minutes until the huffing she was doing was gone and I couldn't hear the cub anymore."
"Then I tried to look around but was having trouble seeing much. I tried to sit up but was nauseated and my arms didn't seem to work right," she added.
Williams said she spent 14 hours at the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque, where doctors told her she had a fractured right orbit and was missing parts of eyelid and eyebrow. She wrote that her left bicep was injured while sustaining punctures wounds and lacerations.
"But I am alive. Unfortunately the bear is not. Game and Wildlife found her and she is being tested for rabies. They are hoping to catch her cub/cubs," Williams wrote.
reported that Game and Fish officials and the National Park Service worked together after the incident to keep others from the area where the woman was attacked.
© 2021 Newsmax. All rights reserved.