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This 65-Year-Old Woman Fought Back And Survived A Bear Attack

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A woman on the Central Coast recounted her story of coming face-to-face with a black bear—and living to tell the tale.

Emily Miles, a rancher in Carpinteria Valley, was walking with her dogs in an avocado grove in Santa Barbara County on Monday around noon when suddenly, her dogs came running from the trees followed by a 6-foot, 300 lb. black bear, she told KEYT.The bear came out swinging, so Miles attempted to flee. The bear chased her, tackling her to the ground and biting into her upper left thigh. The force of the fall broke one of Miles' ribs.

But Miles fought back. She was able to roll over and began screaming and kicking the bear. She said the bear reared, and the two made eye contact. But instead of attacking again, the bear decided to spare her and slowly walked back into the trees while continuing to look at her.

Miles is taking anti-rabies meds as a precaution. She has deep claw marks in her in her back from the attack, in addition to the broken rib and bite marks. Wildlife experts believe the bear was probably tracking the dogs, and may have come down from more mountainous terrain because of the drought.

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The California State Department of Fish and Wildlife have set traps, with the intention of catching the bear and testing it for rabies. Janice Mackey, a spokesperson for the department, said that saliva taken from Miles' wounds will be used to verify that any bear caught is the bear they're looking for, L.A. Times reports.

Miles would prefer that the bear not euthanized, but Mackey said, "We just can't have a bear attacking people."

The department has a list of tips on how to avoid bears and what you should do if you encounter one here.

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