An Ontario woman who was attacked by a black bear while walking her dogs earlier this week recounted the traumatizing ordeal in her first on-camera interview since the incident.
Lynn O'Connor, 53, was walking her two dogs, Kiera and Jake, on a trail in the Township of Havelock Belmont Methuen on Sunday afternoon.
"I heard crashing in the woods. I called Kiera because I couldn't see her," O'Connor told CBC News' Aarti Pole. "She came out and then I turned my head a little further to the left, and there was a bear staring right at me."
Ontario Provincial Police had said that O'Connor, who is from Peterborough, Ont., came across a group of three bears on the trail near 7th Line, south of Highway 7, about two hours east of Toronto. One of the bears became aggressive.
O'Connor said the bear she encountered immediately attacked her.
"I didn't provoke it in any way," she said. "It just started to bite me and I thought it was going to kill me."
Defended by her dogs
She said she tried to jab the bear with a walking stick she was carrying, but the animal didn't react. So she began to scream for her dogs.
Her dog Jake jumped in and managed to get the bear off O'Connor, but then he was taken down.
"For him to do what he did was amazing," she said, adding that Jake is an older dog. "I don't know if he had much strength after that."
The younger dog, Kiera, also jumped in to help, but the bear remained focused on O'Connor.
"It didn't bite the dogs," she said. "It only bit me, so it wanted me, for whatever reason."
O'Connor was finally rescued when her husband, who heard the attack from their home, raced down the trail on an ATV. She managed to get onto the vehicle, and the couple, along with their dogs, sped to their truck.
O'Connor was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. She is now recovering from bite marks on her stomach and thigh, and says walking is still difficult. She said she expects to make a full recovery.
Although she has owned property in the area for the last five years and had never seen a bear before Sunday's attack, O'Connor said she is now wary of being outside in the bush.
"I won't tend to go out there anytime soon — if at all."