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Marathon runner attacked by bear in Valles Caldera
- Updated: June 20, 2016
A woman was running a marathon in a national preserve in northern New Mexico Saturday when she was attacked by a bear, wildlife officials say.
The unnamed woman was attacked on Saturday by the adult female bear while participating in a marathon event on the Valles Caldera National Preserve near Los Alamos.
She suffered several bites and scratches and had injuries to her head, neck and upper body that weren’t life-threatening.
New Mexico’s department of game and fish officers are now searching for the bear.
The attack occurred when the victim surprised a mother bear whose cub ran up a nearby tree.
Nearby joggers provided immediate assistance until additional help could arrive, wildlife officials said in a statement, adding that the woman was airlifted to an Albuquerque area hospital where she is being treated for her injuries.
Once found, the bear will be euthanised and tested for rabies.
Although rabies in bears is rare, the game and fish department says, it is usually fatal in humans if not properly treated.
It is estimated that there are at least 600,000 black bears in North America, according to conservation organisation Defenders of Wildlife.