ANCHORAGE, Alaska, May 20 (UPI) -- A female jogger was attacked by a brown bear sow, who was protecting her two cubs, at the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, according to the military.
The woman, who is the wife of a man stationed on the base and declined to be identified, was attacked by the bear while she was jogging. She then walked a mile before she was spotted by someone who took her to the hospital. The woman remained at the Alaska Native Medical Center in stable condition on Monday, according to a base spokeswoman.
Mark Sledge, senior conservation officer on the base, said that the woman was bleeding from slashes she received on her head and arms, but nonetheless walked back a mile to her pickup truck where a passing driver, a soldier, took her to the base hospital.
"The lady had the wherewithal, the will to survive and work her way back to her truck," Sledge said Monday afternoon.
The woman was fairly behind her husband. They went out out jogging on a popular training route, when she startled the bear and its cubs as they came out of the trees. Her husband initially reported her missing when he couldn't find her along the track or at the pickup, but was later brought to the hospital by security forces.
"In this particular case, the runner turned the corner at the wrong time and wrong place," said Maj. Angela Webb, a spokeswoman for the Air Force.
The woman was described as being "in and out of consciousness" at the hospital and has lacerations to her neck and arms. The injuries are consistent with wounds sustained when someone rolls up into a ball to protect themselves from an attack.
Wildlife officials have closed all recreational activities along the training route but said that they do not expect to take any action against a bear, as the attack was a defensive action take by the bear to protect its cubs.
"The main message is don't get complacent. I'm not saying she was," said Sledge. "I don't care if you're in downtown Anchorage or on the base, bears are everywhere."