Bear Viciously Attacks Woman Running Marathon In New Mexico, Are Animal Attacks On The Rise?

Ashley Hoffman - Author

Jun. 19 2016, Updated 6:21 p.m. ET

Wildlife officials have reported a black bear attacked a woman running a marathon in a National Preserve in New Mexico, ABC News reports. The woman suffered several bites and scratches. The injuries to her head, neck and upper body were not life-threatening, according to ABC News.

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The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish says the woman was racing Saturday afternoon when the female bear confronted her in the Valles Caldera National Preserve. Officers say the victim surprised the bear after her cub had run up a nearby tree.

Nearby runners and joggers attempted to help the woman until emergency crews arrived. The woman was then airlifted to an Albuquerque hospital. Game and Fish and the National Park Service are now warning people to stay away from the area. Officials are trying to locate the black bear to euthanize it and test it for rabies. Rabies in bears is rare, but DGF notes, “It is nearly 100 percent fatal in humans if not properly treated.”

The Daily Mail gives a few tips on how to stay safe if ever in contact with a bear.

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The tips include: Never get in between a bear and her cubs. Avoid direct eye contact (direct eye contact can be perceived as a threat), and slowly walk away, never run.

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“One should also make themselves appear larger by holding out their jacket, and make sure to give the bear plenty of room to escape. In instances of attack, people are advised to fight back with whatever they can get their hands on – including rocks, sticks or bare hands – and to aim for the bear’s nose and eyes.”

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