A Seattle woman was attacked and dragged 20 feet by a grizzly bear while working for a Canadian mining company in Alaska – but survived with minor only injuries.
Julia Stafford, 20, a University of British Columbia student, smartly played dead after the bear knocked her – and a male colleague – over and on to the ground.
‘It bit my hand and kind of dragged me 20 feet over the rocks and just left me,’ Stafford told The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner from her hospital bed while ironically holding – you guessed it – a teddy bear.
‘I was worried I was going to die briefly, but it was fine once she let me go and ran away…It happened really quick.’
The hair-raising encounter reportedly occurred about 1:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon – just two days after another grizzly bear ate a hiker in Denali National Park and Preserve.
It happened when Stafford and Kerry – his last name was not available – were collecting rock samples in the rain near a foggy ravine for Pure Nickel Inc., a Canadian company.
‘The bear sort of walked out of the fog and it had two cubs with it,’ Stafford told the News-Miner.
‘We started walking uphill to get away from it and it started walking toward us.
‘We stopped once we saw it was following us and tried to get the bear spray out but by then it was already running toward us.
‘I was wearing gloves and they were wet and it was confusing,’ she reportedly added. ‘There was just not enough time to get the bear spray out.’
Stafford, a geological engineering student, suffered cuts to her right hand and scratch marks on her back that required stitches. She told the News-Miner she will need surgery for a broken bone in her hand, as well.
The attack happened two days after a lone backpacker in Denali was killed by another grizzly bear that has since been fatally shot by an Alaskan state trooper.
It was the first fatal bear mauling in the park’s 95-year history, officials have said.
Richard White, 49, of San Diego was killed after he brazenly violated the quarter-mile berth that hikers at the park are required to give bears.
During that incident, officials said, White spent eight minutes taking photos of his killer from a range of about 50 yards before the bear turned and attacked
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