Super scary situation faced by a runner up in Manitoba on Monday afternoon when a black bear took a swat at her head while she was out with her 4 dogs. Erin McKenzie was running a 10k loop that she frequents in Riding Mountain National Park when the incident happened (250km northwest of Winnipeg)
The CBC reports she was climbing up a steep hill with her four unleashed dogs a few feet ahead of her when the bear appeared:
“All of a sudden a black bear just came ripping out of the bush right in front of me, maybe about a foot away. It was clearly spooked, as was I.”
The bear took a swing at her face leaving a deep cut and then swiped at her back before bounding off. The entire interaction was over in a matter of seconds.
“I really thought I was going to die when the bear was hitting me. That was extremely terrifying. I’ve never been that close to a bear or any kind of predatory animal like that. All I could see was blood pouring down on my shirt and my body and my legs.”
Her dogs weren’t injured. McKenzie had to hike about 5km back to her car, where her boyfriend met her in the parking lot and drove her to the hospital. The cuts on her back are fairly superficial but the one on her face is quite deep:
“I think what I’ll just be left with is a pretty ugly-looking scar.”
Other than that, McKenzie says she’s lucky to be alive. McKenzie has hiked and backpacked thousands of kilometers in her life and has seen a lot of wildlife but admits she got complacent:
“Just be aware of your surroundings and don’t get too comfortable. I think that’s part of the problem, is you get relaxed hiking … and running so often out there without ever having an incident.”
The trail is closed following the attack. For more on bear safety GO HERE.