A black bear broke into an elderly, bedridden woman’s home Tuesday night in Cimarron, N.M., and attacked her. The 82-year-old, who wishes to remain unidentified, was in bed with the windows open when a 400-pound black bear broke through the screen door and scratched her nose and head, the AP reports.
A housekeeper who checked in on the woman around 10 p.m. found scratches on her face. She applied first aid and called the state Department of Game and Fish.
“This was a large male bear, probably weighing over 400 pounds,” Conservation Officer Kyle Jackson said in a statement. “Comparing it to the marks on the door, we believe this is the bear that broke in, but there was no apparent reason for the bear to enter the house.”
Usually food attracts bears into camps or homes, but there was no food in the bedroom. The housekeeper didn’t hear the attack, and the woman’s dog didn’t budge.
Hap Blacksten, a local houndman, found the bear with dogs. The bear was killed Wednesday and taken to the Veterinarian Diagnostic Center in Albuquerque, where it will be tested for rabies.
New Mexico isn’t the only state where a black bear attacked the elderly.
On Monday evening, Darlene Baglio, 72, of Minnesota was scratched and bitten by a black bear in her backyard, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports. The attack was the first the state had seen in seven years.
“It takes a lot to provoke a female bear to attack somebody,” Department of National Resources research scientist Dave Garshelis said. “This is not typical behavior of a bear. They are more scared of us than we are of them. ... There are occasionally bold bears that attack people [in North America]. To me, this doesn’t sound like a bold bear, but rather a bear scared and put in an unusual situation through no one’s fault.”
Baglio was hospitalized with puncture wounds in her arms, side and right leg. She was released on Tuesday.