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Bear breaks in, attacks elderly woman in bed

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Victim just had scratches; animal killed by officials

A 400-pound black bear broke into a home north of Cimarron and attacked an 82-year-old bedridden woman this week, authorities said.

The bear reportedly was caught and killed by state Department of Game and Fish officers Wednesday.

Authorities said the woman suffered only minor injuries.

The woman, who didn’t want her name released, told authorities she was in bed with the doors and windows open Tuesday night when a bear broke the latch on a screen door and entered her room. A housekeeper went in about 10 p.m. to close the doors and turn off the lights and found her with scratches on her nose and head.

Dogs tracked down the bear. Its carcass has been taken to the Veterinarian Diagnostic Center in Albuquerque, where it will be tested for rabies.

A Game and Fish officer said bears usually are enticed into homes or camps by the smell of food, but there was no food in the woman’s bedroom. The housekeeper said she didn’t hear a sound, and there was a dog in the house that didn’t alert to the bear.

The agency warned people in bear country to lock their doors and windows, saying those entryways are attractive to wildlife looking for food.

Meanwhile, farther south, a black bear toured north Rio Rancho before disappearing into the Rio Puerco on Wednesday, Rio Rancho police Sgt. Nicholas Onken said.

After fielding calls from several residents in the morning, police and Game and Fish officials shepherded the bear away from the city.

The bear had been reported getting into some yards and jumping over walls in the Northern Meadows neighborhood and skirted the Mariposa area, Onken said, adding that it did not injure or threaten any humans or animals.

“It’s my understanding it was a fair-sized bear,” he said.

After tracking the bear to the Rio Puerco, Game and Fish officials halted the chase.

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