Woman Plays Dead In Violent Bear Attack: What Unfolded Is How She Survived

A woman plays dead in a bear attack serious enough to kill her and manages to survive.

When a small bear cub is spotted on a secluded hillside trail, trouble lurks if mama bear catches you too close! Sgt. Jessica Gamboa can tell you all about it.

FOX News covers the story in-depth and explains the ordeal from the May 18 episode on how a jog at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage, Alaska is Jessica Gamboa’s life or death story.

Venturing onto a trail during her run, Jessica spots a bear cub and figures mama bear is nearby. Gamboa shares her immediate thoughts with ABC News:

“Immediately my thought was, ‘OK, where’s the mama bear?'”

Her instincts prove true and a brown mama bear viciously confronts her; knocking her down to the ground before picking her up and throwing her. For good measure, she beats Gambora with her massive claws. At this point, the woman plays dead. With nothing more to lose other than her own life, Jessica makes a sound and brave decision:

“I played dead. I just completely surrendered.”

The bear eventually leaves the scene with Jessica unconscious.

It’s unclear how long she remained there, but things looked up when Army medic, Sgt Collin Gillikin arrived in his truck from out of nowhere. Gillkin recalls:

“I wasn’t a man of faith but it kind of made me think there really is something bigger than myself out there.”

Jessica is now recovering from lacerations on her neck, arms, and legs. As of Monday, she’s listed in stable condition.

Mark Sledge, senior conservation law enforcement officer at the Alaskan base, told FOX News that the bear saw Gamboa as a threat to her two cubs. He estimates the bear is between 7 and 8 feet tall based on the 7-inch size of the rear claw pads. He says the way this woman played dead during the bear attack was the best response. He adds that it’s amazing she’s alive.

Wildlife officials closed the trail where the bear attack took place to give the bear time to clear out with her cubs.

Sgt. Jessica Gamboa shares the lesson she learned from this experience:

“Never underestimate the power of nature. And when it comes to mama bear, there’s not much that you can do.”

Other instances of people surviving animal attacks are among the many reports on the topic at The Inquisitr. There’s one about a man surviving a coyote attack because he used the right object to stop it.

This story about a woman playing dead from a perilous bear attack can help others if they ever encounter such an unfortunate situation.

[Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons]