Throughout history, there has not been a bigger spectacle than that of a man fighting a bear. Dating back to ancient civilizations, this daring and perilous endeavor has been met with awe, fear, and admiration. From the legendary gladiators of ancient Rome to the courageous bear hunters of medieval Europe, the confrontation between man and beast has served as a testament to human courage, skill, and resilience.
But none of those warriors were as tough as Lynn Kelly, 64, who was working in her garden when her dog darted out into the woods behind her house barking at something.
Soon after, Lynn found out what had captured her pup’s attention: a bear. That’s when she did the only thing she could do–stand up to it.
I noticed that my dog ran off of the deck and straight down in front of the house down the hill,” Kelly said. “And the next thing I knew, I heard him scream, squealing. And so, I ran over to where he had gone down and kept calling him and calling him, and he finally came running back up. And right behind him was the bear. And the bear looked at me, and I looked at the bear. I think we both scared each other,” WMUR reported.
Kelly said she tried to look big and yell and scare the bear, but it didn’t work. It kept coming toward her, so she punched it. That’s when it bit her in the hand and wrist.
She said she started bleeding, so she ran back in the house and called 911. It took about 45 minutes for police and fire to arrive, and she was taken to Memorial Hospital in North Conway, where she was treated for four puncture wounds.
Wildlife officials said such encounters are incredibly rare, and they’ve only heard of a handful of attacks in the past few decades.
Luckily, her wallop of the bear sent it running and she only needed some stitches. CNN noted, “The bear hasn’t been seen since the ‘provoked attack,’ according to the release. The department said they have set two live live traps to try to capture the animal, noting it was seen in previous days eating birdseed in neighbors’ yards.
The department urged Maine residents to ‘keep a distance’ if they see a bear and ‘do not corner or agitate the bear.’ Dog owners should walk their dogs on non-retractable leashes and ‘do not get in between your dog and a bear.’
There are an estimated 24,000 to 36,000 black bears living across Maine, according to the department’s website. The department says that bear-related calls tend to increase during the spring and summer, when bears destroy bird feeders or get into people’s garbage. Most conflicts with bears can be avoided by ‘removing common food attractants around homes,’ the department says.”