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Mich. woman attacked while feeding bear

July 29, 2011 at 2:25 PM

ONTONAGON, Mich., July 29 (UPI) -- A Michigan woman who suffered injuries to her arms, legs and back when she was attacked by a bear belonging to a friend said she is grateful to be alive.

Linda Beck of Ontonagon County in the Upper Peninsula said she has been feeding her friend's bears for years, but she never had any problems with the animals until one of them ran at her July 18, WLUC-TV, Marquette, Mich., reported Friday.

Beck said she fled from the bear, but it caught up and knocked her to the ground.

"I knew I needed more help than what I could give to stop her. So, I started to pray. And all of a sudden, as soon as I was done praying, there was a little water bucket over there. And I grabbed it and put it over her face," Beck said.

Beck said she didn't have time to lock the gate while fleeing and the bear escaped.

"Michigan State Police arrived on the scene. I had radio contact with him and he had seen the bear outside of the larger fence. So, it was out and at large. We discussed it on the radio and felt that the best case was to euthanize the bear for public safety at that time," said Sgt. Steven Burton of the state Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division.

Beck was airlifted to Wausau, Wis., where she received surgery for her injuries.

"I'm alive, and I thank the Lord for that," she said.

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