ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Game and Fish officials are searching for a black bear that attacked a woman Saturday.
Officials say the attack happened in the Valles Caldera National Preserve near Los Alamos. The woman was participating in a marathon event when she came across a mother bear whose cub ran up a tree, officials say.
The woman was airlifted to an Albuquerque hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Officials say, initial reports of her injuries indicate that she was bit and scratched – receiving injuries to her head, neck and upper body.
Officials say they are working the National Park Service to deter people from entering the area. Once the bear is found it will be euthanized and tested for rabies.
New Mexico Game and Fish provided these tips if you ever encounter a bear.
Here are some ways to protect yourself If you encounter a bear:
- Stop, and back away slowly while facing the bear. Avoid direct eye contact, as the bear may consider that a threat. Do not run. Make yourself appear large by holding out your jacket. If you have small children, pick them up so they don’t run.
- Give the bear plenty of room to escape, so it doesn’t feel threatened or trapped. If a black bear attacks you, fight back using anything at your disposal, such as rocks, sticks, binoculars or even your bare hands. Aim for the bear’s nose and eyes.
- If the bear has not seen you, stay calm and slowly move away, making noise so the bear knows you are there. Never get between a mother bear and her cubs.
If you live or camp in bear country:
- Keep garbage in airtight containers inside your garage or storage area. Place garbage outside in the morning just before pickup, not the night before. Occasionally clean cans with ammonia or bleach.
- Remove bird feeders. Bears see them as sweet treats, and often they will look for other food sources nearby.
- Never put meat or sweet-smelling food scraps such as melon in your compost pile.
- Don’t leave pet food or food dishes outdoors at night.
- Clean and store outdoor grills after use. Bears can smell sweet barbecue sauce and grease for miles.
- Never intentionally feed bears to attract them for viewing.
- Keep your camp clean, and store food and garbage properly at all times. Use bear-proof containers when available. If not, suspend food, toiletries, coolers and garbage from a tree at least 10 feet off the ground and 4 feet out from the tree trunk.
- Keep your tent and sleeping bag free of all food smells. Store the clothes you wore while cooking or eating with your food.
- Sleep a good distance from your cooking area or food storage site.