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Jogger survives vicious bear attack

Woman Speaks Out After Surviving Bear Attack

A woman who was attacked by a bear while jogging is now speaking out about her terrifying experience. ABC reports:

"She knocked me down, picked me up, and carried me over to the other side of the road. I played dead. I have a baby boy - 4-year-old son at home and he's all I wanted to live for."

KTUU reports Jessica Gamboa and her husband went running on a trail at a military base in Alaska May 18. Gamboa says her husband went ahead of her since he normally runs faster than she does.

That's when Gamboa says she saw a bear cub walking around. She immediately knew the mama bear was nearby.

According to KTVA, Gamboa suffered several cuts and broken bones as a result of the attack. She explains she played dead so the bear wouldn't feel threatened. It worked- Luckily, the bear left her alone and walked away.

After that, Gamboa says she walked nearly two miles before an Army medic drove by and took her to the hospital, where she's now recovering.

KOVR in Sacramento, where Gamboa is from, reports many bears in that state generally don't like people, making them more aggressive toward humans. Officials say if the attack had happened in Gamboa's home state, she would have needed to take a different approach.

"My recommendation that is if one were to be attacked by a California bear, to fight back aggressively. ... Sticks, rocks, anything you can to fight the animal off."

Doctors say Gamboa is expected to make a full recovery.

Join the discussion

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sylvabugg2 June 02 2014 at 9:22 AM

If her husband was jogging with her, where did he go? She walked two miles to find help? Did he just abandon her there? Wtf?

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15 replies
seattle333 June 02 2014 at 9:51 AM

To bad the husband didn't double back at times to at least stay reasonable near wife. He could of kept up his speed and still been her buddy.

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1 reply
foghornpwf seattle333 June 02 2014 at 12:38 PM

Bet he will from now on!

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3 replies
brwnysbrb June 02 2014 at 9:30 AM

Most bears will not attack people. Only if you come upon a mother bear with cubs(and this applies to all kinds of bear)than the mother attacks, protecting her cubs. Or a bear that has just came out of hibernation and is hungry. Most bear are afraid of people.
This lady did the right thing to play dead. A human is no way going to fight off any bear. She is lucky to be alive in fact.

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3 replies
imasimons June 02 2014 at 9:03 AM

no shortage of stupidity here in the comments

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1 reply
Nancy imasimons June 03 2014 at 8:18 AM

Yeah, glad you could join us!

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Steve-a-rino June 02 2014 at 10:52 AM

A bear attack is neither "vicious" nor "gruesome." A sow bear will do what any "mom" would do. They just happen to be bigger, badder and more capable of doing severe damage.

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4 replies
mnngdw June 02 2014 at 9:06 AM

She was probably attacked by a grizzly protecting its cub. She did the right thing playing dead as grizzlies usually will stop the attack if they feel you are no longer a threat. If you are attacked by a bear in CA. it is a black bear and they attack humans for one reason... to eat you. So fight like hell!

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2 replies
Juniorsmom mnngdw June 02 2014 at 12:50 PM

I understand that black bear prefer vegetation to meat and they usually run away from people. Check out the North American Bear Center in Ely, Minnesota website and you can learn a lot about black bears.

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5 replies
tom mnngdw June 03 2014 at 8:44 AM

A black bear will defend its cubs too. No way I would jog in bear country without bear spray. The real stuff, not these little "key chain" fakes.

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Martooooon June 02 2014 at 5:33 AM

I'm glad you could BEAR it...

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1 reply
Lacey Martooooon June 02 2014 at 6:16 AM


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boardsrbetter June 02 2014 at 11:14 AM

This mom is army strong, and she's not even serving!

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Franco June 02 2014 at 5:47 AM

Accidents with deer kill an average of 200 Americans every year. Thining out the herds is an unfortunate necessity.

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3 replies
elizhard32 June 02 2014 at 4:31 PM

Wow, what a story.....and what a brave young woman! I'm sure I would have lost it entirely and ultimately would have lost my life. If it didn't kill me I'm sure it would have ended my jogging days! I do understand that Grizzly bear will maul a human but not eat it unless he's done it before, then if the bear is near an inhabited area (in Alaska) the Game Wardens find it and take it out. Same thing with the Polars (despite PITA).

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