SANTA FE – New Mexico Department of Game and Fish conservation officers are investigating a bear attack that occurred at the Pajarito Ski Area on Friday evening. The Los Alamos Police Department alerted conservation officers after receiving a distress call from the woman’s husband.
The victim, 37, of Los Alamos and her husband were sitting on the deck at the lodge, observing Comet NEOWISE, when the bear approached them. Coming within a foot of the couple, the bear began chasing the woman and attacked her in the parking lot.
The woman was taken to the Los Alamos Medical Center and later air lifted to University of New Mexico Hospital due to the severity of the injuries. Initial reports indicate that the woman sustained multiple injuries including several broken bones, a collapsed lung, bite marks and scratches.
After arriving on scene, responding officers located and dispatched a bear that was eating trash in the vicinity. Conservation officers will work with the Veterinary Diagnostic Services (VDS) lab in Albuquerque to examine the bear.
DNA samples will be collected from the victim, her clothing and the area where the attack occurred. Evidence will be analyzed by the Wyoming Game and Fish Wildlife Forensic Laboratory to verify that this was the bear involved in the attack.
The Department reminds outdoor recreationists to be bear aware. During the summer, bears are active as they look for food sources in preparation for the winter months.
Though bears can be unpredictable, here are some ways to protect yourself if you encounter a bear:
Stop, and back away slowly while facing the bear. Avoid direct eye contact, as the bear may consider that a threat. Do not run. Make yourself appear large by holding out your jacket. If you have small children, pick them up so they don’t