Bear attacks and seriously injures woman at ski lodge - Albuquerque Journal

Bear attacks and seriously injures woman at ski lodge

An evening of comet watching turned terrifying Friday when a bear attacked and seriously injured a woman at Pajarito Mountain Ski Area near Los Alamos.

“Initial reports indicate that the woman sustained multiple injuries, including several broken bones, a collapsed lung, bite marks and scratches,” the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish said in a Saturday news release.

The agency said the 37-year-old Los Alamos woman and her husband were sitting on the deck of the ski lodge watching Comet NEOWISE – a sight that’s attracted stargazers in recent weeks – when a bear approached the two just after sundown.

“Coming within a foot of the couple, the bear began chasing the woman and attacked her in the parking lot,” Game and Fish said.

Los Alamos police fielded the emergency call from the husband.

The woman – who was not identified – was taken to Los Alamos Medical Center and later airlifted to University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque due to her severe injuries.

Los Alamos police officers, who were the first to arrive at the scene, shot and killed a bear that was found nearby, eating trash.

Game and Fish said it will work with the Veterinary Diagnostic Services laboratory in Albuquerque to examine the animal, while DNA will be collected from the victim, her clothes and the attack site.

“Evidence will be analyzed by the Wyoming Game and Fish Wildlife Forensic Laboratory to verify that this was the bear involved in the attack,” the agency said.

New Mexico Game and Fish spokeswoman Tristanna Bickford told The Associated Press that bear encounters aren’t uncommon in Los Alamos and that the animals sometimes use drainages to enter the city from Valles Caldera National Preserve and other areas in search of food.


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