'I Didn't Think I Would Be Here': Woman Speaks on Bear Attack | NBC Connecticut
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'I Didn't Think I Would Be Here': Woman Speaks on Bear Attack

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    NEWSLETTERS

    For the first time, the woman who survived what may be the first recorded bear attack on a human in Maryland history is recounting what happened the night she was mauled. News4's Meagan Fitzgerald reports. (Published Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016)

    A woman who survived the first known bear attack in Maryland's history spoke to News4 about the vicious mauling that left her with a broken arm, a partially collapsed lung, cuts to her head and other wounds.

    Karen Osborne, 63, is back home for Thanksgiving after spending nearly a week in the hospital.

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    Osborne was walking to her daughter's home next door in Frederick about 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 16, when a bear attacked her in the driveway.

    "Halfway down the driveway this bear just came from the right side on two legs roaring at me," Osborne told News4.

    She said she's seen the same bear around the neighborhood for years. But that night, the bear was with her three cubs and saw Osborne as a threat.

    "It grabbed me right here, threw me to the ground, and then she came around and bit my arm in half, and then she came back around again and attacked me from above on top of my head," Osborne said.

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    The mother bear mauled her four times over a span of 35 minutes, leaving her nearly lifeless on the driveway. Osborne said she was convinced she was going to die.

    "She went to catch her breath and she was laying behind me. I could feel the hot air of her breath on my neck," Osborne said.

    In that moment, Osborne realized she had her cell phone and made a desperate plea to 911.

    "I was basically asking [the dispatcher] to say goodbye to my family because I didn't think I would be here today," she said.

    David Zalubowski/AP

    Once police and medics arrived, Osborne was rushed to the hospital. She had more than 70 stitches, and X-rays revealed she had a fracture on her pelvic bone.

    Biologists with the Department of Natural Resources used a tracking device to find the bear and later euthanized it.

    Osborne's wounds aren't done healing, but she and her family said this Thanksgiving means more than it ever has before.

    "Life is very short. Enjoy your family while you have them," Osborne said.

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    Osborne's family has established a GoFundMe page to raise money for her medical expenses.