On Tuesday, two women workers from an Alaska backcountry lodge startled a large grizzly while jogging. One woman was mauled by the bear, and is very fortunate to have escaped with her life.
According to a 10TV report and update on the woman’s condition, Gabriele Markel, 20, was resting comfortably from the bear attack the previous day. Doctors described her wounds as bites and scratches, and her condition was upgraded to “good.”
Markel and her co-worker, Kaitlyn Haley, 26, were out for a jog on the Cottonwood Creek Trail near Upper Skilak Lake when then they met the grizzly bear, often called a brown or Kodiak bear.
Tom Timmel is the operations manager for Alaska Wildland Adventures. According to the report, it is the company that “operates the backcountry lodge in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge.” He weighed in on the girls’ incident.
“They surprised a bear as they were coming around a turn, basically.”
Despite having pepper spray designed to scare away attacking animals, the women said things were a blur when the bear charged at them, according to Timmel.
“Gabriele did have bear spray with her and, I think, even attempted to use it. But as it happens in these types of situations, sometimes, it was very quick and the bear was surprised.”
The bear overtook Markel and pinned her on the ground and mauled her. Meanwhile, the other woman fled a short distance back to the lodge for help. She and others immediately returned to the scene where the mauling took place. They saw the woman walking up the trail, but the bear was nowhere in sight.
The injured woman was transported to a nearby hospital and treated for injuries sustained from being mauled by the bear. In the meantime, law enforcement officials conducted a search for the wild animal. However, it’s unclear of its fate.
In a separate bear attack back in May, another woman came close to death when a bear buried her alive for its next meal. But due to an epiphany, and her will to see her children again, she survived, according to an earlier Inquisitr report on the vicious animal assault.
Natalya Pasternak, 55, recalled how she and her 80-year-old friend trekked through the forests of the Amur region of Russia. Suddenly, a bear appeared and mauled her. During the frantic encounter, she thought about how dying would be a burden to her kids — and it was not an option, as she explains.
“The animal started to tear my legs apart and I tried to attack him [using] something I was using to collect birch sap. Then a quick thought hit me: ‘If the bear takes my legs, I’ll be disabled for the rest of my life. It’s better to die then to be a burden to my children.'”
Like the recent attack of the woman mauled by a brown bear in Alaska, Pasternak is alive to tell her story. Thanks to a hunter who showed up and shot the grizzly, she is alive and recovering from the ordeal.
Ken Marsh, spokesperson for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, offered some lifesaving advice to anyone who comes under attack by a bear, according to KTVA.
“Go ahead and fall into a fetal position, cover your head and face and neck the best you can and try to stay still. Once the bear realizes you’re not a threat, generally they’ll go ahead and leave.”
[Photo by Matt King/Getty Images]