Maryland Woman Fends Off Black Bear Attack, Punches Back

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Photo by Steve Maslowski
Photo by Steve Maslowski

Black bears and humans have been encroaching on each other’s territory for the past several months around Maryland. This week in Frederick, a woman was horrifically attacked. But she was able to fend the bear off.

According to the AP, Karen Osbourne and her husband went outside her home near Gambrill State Park with her dog to investigate why the dog kept barking. The bear attacked in the driveway of the home. Her husband said she punched the bear. When that didn’t work, she played dead. Amid the attack, she was somehow able to call 911.

“She said she punched him in the face a couple times,” Ronald Osborne said of his 63-year-old wife. “She’s a tough babe.”

She had bite wounds on her head and torso, and required 70 stitches.

The bear was likely defending her cubs, which were also nearby. While Osborne survived, the bear was tracked and euthanized by wildlife agents.

Osborne’s daughter, who lives nearby, said people in the area knew the bear.

“We all kind of loved her,” she told the AP.

Increasingly close encounters between bears and humans are a big reason behind Maryland’s brief¬†bear hunting season, which netted a record this year. The bears are even creeping into the suburbs, and starting to mimic human behavior. Attacks are extremely rare, however. This is the first in 81 years.



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