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Woman sustains significant injuries in bear attack near Leavenworth

LEAVENWORTH, Wash. — Authorities are investigating after a woman was attacked by a bear early Saturday, according to the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office.

The victim, a woman in her sixties, was walking her dog in her neighborhood just outside of Leavenworth when she was attacked by the bear, according to CCSO’s chief of patrol, Adam Musgrove.

“She was just walking along and apparently a bear had jumped out at her,” said Musgrove. “The attack lasted, from what I understand, just a few seconds. She said she didn’t even really get a really good look at the bear itself.”

The woman returned home on her own after the attack.

Someone called 911 to report the incident at about 7 a.m., approximately 45 minutes after the attack occurred.

The woman was transported to a hospital with significant, but non-life-threatening injuries, according to CCSO.

Musgrove said while it’s normal to see bears in this area, it’s very rare for them to attack.

“Whenever there is a (bear) sighting, we encourage folks to call into RiverCom and make a report so we can get out there and make sure people are safe,” said Musgrove.

Authorities asked the public to avoid the area of Enchantment Park Way off Commercial Street while they responded to this incident.

Personnel with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife were called to the scene with Karelian bear-tracking dogs.

They later located, killed and removed an adult female black bear near the area where this incident took place, according to a statement posted to their website at 10:50 a.m.

Two approximately nine-month-old cubs were also captured in the area before being assessed and transported to a PAWS wildlife rehabilitation facility, according to WDFW officials.

WDFW shared the following advice on minimizing the risk of injuries in an encounter with a bear:

“In general bears avoid people, but they’re naturally curious animals. If a bear walks toward you, identify yourself as a human by standing up, waving your hands above your head, and talking in a low voice. Back away, avoiding direct eye contact. Don’t run from a bear. WDFW recommends making noise and leashing pets while hiking. Be aware of your surroundings as to not accidentally startle a bear. While recreating, WDFW recommends carrying bear spray that is readily accessible and knowing how to use it. More information on how to use bear spray is available on WDFW’s blog.”

There has only been one fatal black bear attack on a human in Washington state in recorded history, according to WDFW.

State authorities have recorded just 20 encounters between black bears and humans, including Saturday’s incident, that resulted in a documented injury since 1970.

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