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

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.

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.

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.

“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.”

bear attacks woman new mexico marathan [Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images]Many are holding their children tight in light of the horrific encounters between wild animals and small children. The two-year-old boy who was attacked and drowned by alligator at Walt Disney World resort in Orlando on Tuesday, caused outrage. On Friday, a Colorado woman managed to fight off a large mountain lion that was attacking her five-year-old son. The Aspen Times reported the mother “reached into the animal’s mouth and wrestled her son’s head from its jaws.”

The woman’s child was outside playing with his brother when she heard the sound of screaming. The Colorado woman rushed outside to find a mountain lion on top of her son, according to People. Deputy Michael Buglione told The Aspen Times the mother is a hero.

“The woman charged the animal, yanked away one of its paws and discovered her son’s whole head was in its mouth…[She was then] able to physically remove her son from the mountain lion,” the Sheriff’s spokesman told People.

“She was able to pry the cat’s jaws open…She’s a hero.”

mountain lion attacks [Photo by Robert King/Newsmakers/Getty Images]CNN released statistics on how rare it is for an animal to attack you. Foster notes we should be more worried about dog attacks. With 4.5 million dog bites occurring each year, 486 people died from dog attacks. The rate of dog bites is highest for five-to-nine-year olds, according to the CDC. Mammals such as cows and horses are responsible for the deaths of 1,163 people.

“The most common animal-related fatalities are from large mammals, like cattle or horses, but when you’re looking at attacks from wild animals only, the most common cause of death are due to venomous animals, like wasps or bees,” Forrester said. “I think people have in their mind that the most dangerous animals are cougars, bears or alligators, but a bee is more dangerous if a person is predisposed to a reaction.”

The death rate from everyday insects is higher. Venomous spiders were responsible for 112 deaths from 1999 to 2014. Equally venomous snakes and lizards hold a title of 101 deaths a year.

Marine animals deaths including venomous jellyfish clock in at about 19 deaths a year. “I think it underscores that the more dangerous animals are the ones we’re around all the time, like horses or cows or pigs or dogs.” Forrester said.

Forrester explains those with allergies to insects such as wasps, hornets, bees should carry epinephrine auto-injectors to “assure timely treatment.”

“In many ways, the data is pretty reassuring. The most common cause of death are not the scariest things, necessarily, but they are the most common interactions we have with farm animals and they are preventable…If we implement safe workplace practices for persons working around livestock or if a person knows what to do if you get stung by a bee or a wasp, we can prevent deaths.”

[Photo by Matt King/Stringer/Getty Images]