Bear Attack: Florida Teen Saved By Dog

A 15-year-old Florida girl survived a bear attack just before Christmas, and she credits her loyal dog, Ralph, for saving her life, as he lunged at the larger animal while she played dead.

Leah Reeder encountered the bear while she was walking her springer spaniel on Sunday, in Eastpoint, Franklin County, on Florida’s panhandle, according to the Daily Mail. Around 6 p.m., the bear approached and tackled her, pushing the frightened girl to the ground. Reeder screamed during the attack, though her cries went unanswered.

“I guess nobody heard me,” she noted. “After I realized nobody was coming, I stopped screaming, and it started dragging me to the ditch. My dog Ralph was sitting there barking at it.”

As the Apalach Times reports, Reeder remembered that she had been taught in school to act bigger than the bear, though lying prone on the ground, her only option was to play dead. As soon as she stopped screaming, Reeder recalls that the bear ceased biting her.

Ralph then stepped in, barking and lunging at the bear. Though the dog only weighs roughly 25 pounds, Reeder believes that its actions frightened the predator. After a moment, the bear walked backwards, fell into a ditch, and simply ambled away.

Reeder was able to reach her father’s house, where her parents called 911. She was transported by ambulance to Bay Medical Center, where doctors assessed wounds that the bear had inflicted on the right side of her head and face. She also exhibited bite and claw marks on her right arm and right leg as a result of the attack.

Earlier this year, a 22-year-old Rutgers University student was killed by a black bear, after he and a group of friends ventured into the woods on a hike. As the Inquisitr previously reported, a bear was still present near the student’s body when police arrived at the scene of the attack, prompting them to kill the animal.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission announced on Thursday that it had killed a bear, believed to be the one responsible for the attack on Reeder. Officials used dogs to track the bear from the scent left on her clothes.

Reeder underwent plastic surgery, but was home in time for Christmas. Doctors say that she will suffer little long-term scarring from the bear attack.

[Image: Facebook via the Daily Mail ]