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Bear attacks jogger at Alaska Air Force base

By Steve Almasy, CNN
updated 10:04 AM EDT, Thu May 22, 2014
Mark Sledge, the senior Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson conservation law enforcement officer, spoke after a woman was attacked by a brown bear.
Mark Sledge, the senior Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson conservation law enforcement officer, spoke after a woman was attacked by a brown bear.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Jogger runs up on female bear with cubs
  • Bear claws woman's arms, legs, neck and torso, CNN affiliate reports
  • Despite injuries, woman walks a mile uphill to get help

(CNN) -- A woman jogging at an Air Force base in Alaska on Sunday survived an attack by a brown bear sow defending its two cubs, the military said.

The victim, who is the wife of a man stationed at the base and declined to be identified, walked a mile after she was mauled before a good Samaritan spotted her and took her to a hospital at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

The woman was listed in stable condition on Monday at Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage.

According to CNN affiliate KTUU, the bear clawed the woman's arms, legs, neck and torso before leaving the site. The station reported the woman had the presence of mind to walk toward a populated part of the base even though it was uphill.

Maj. Angela Webb, a spokeswoman for the Air Force, said the area is popular with runners and bicyclists, who are warned to bring bear spray.

"In this particular case, the runner turned the corner at the wrong time and wrong place," Webb said.

The bear took a defensive pose, Webb said, before it went after the jogger.

The woman had been jogging with her husband, but he had run ahead of her.

It was the first bear encounter since 2010, when a bear went after four girls, three of whom played dead. The fourth ran to get help as the bear wandered away, Webb said.

The Air Force Times reported that bears, moose and wolves are not rare at the base, which spreads across more than 74,000 acres. It is adjacent to Anchorage.

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