Alaska woman walks to truck, drives herself to hospital after bear attack

The brown bear attacked Thea Thomas after it was chasing her dogs.
By Evan Bleier Follow @itishowitis Contact the Author   |   Aug. 14, 2014 at 12:20 PM
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CORDOVA, Alaska, Aug. 14 (UPI) -- An Alaska woman was able to walk for more than a mile and drive herself to the hospital after she was mauled by a bear while hiking Heney Ridge Trail in Cordova.

Thea Thomas was hiking the trail with her two dogs, but the animals took off once they got near a salmon stream.

After a while, the dogs came bounding back towards the 57-year-old with a brown bear chasing them. It didn't take long for the bear to shift its focus to Thomas.

"When the bear saw her, it veered off the dogs and went after her," Alaska State Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters told KTUU.

Thomas was bitten about seven times and some of the wounds are so deep that they need to heal from the inside before surgery can be performed.

"He was so pissed off, he was growling, angry, shaking his head. He just started biting me. I'm yelling 'No! No!'" Thomas told the Alaska Dispatch News. "By the end, I was thinking, 'I could die here.'"

Thomas curled herself up into the fetal position and the bear eventually left her alone.

After the attack, Thomas walked a mile-and-a-half back to her truck and drove herself and the dogs to the hospital.

"She was able to stay calm and essentially she saved herself," Peters said. "She's really lucky to be alive."

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