Woman recounts harrowing attack by Churchill polar bear

Erin Greene survived a polar bear attack in Churchill, Man., last month, but the Quebec resident is now facing a hefty bill for being airlifted to Winnipeg for surgery.

Woman who resides in Quebec but was airlifted to Winnipeg for surgery is focus of fundraiser tonight

Woman who resides in Quebec but was airlifted to Winnipeg for surgery is focus of fundraiser tonight. The CBC's Caroline Barghout reports. 2:14

Erin Greene survived a polar bear attack in Churchill, Man., last month, but the Montreal resident is now facing a hefty bill for being airlifted to Winnipeg for surgery. 

A fundraiser Thursday night at the Pyramid Cabaret aims to help Greene with her medical bills from the Nov. 1 attack, which occurred when she was walking home from a Halloween party at about 5 a.m.

Erin Greene shows off the scar on her arm from the polar bear attack in November in Churchill, Man. (Darren Bernhardt/CBC)

"One of my friends happened to look back and she saw a bear was running towards us," said the 30-year-old.

"She said, 'Guys watch out, there's a bear,' and then we literally had seconds from when we saw the bear and when the bear was on my head."

Her friends ran and managed to get away, but the bear grabbed Greene, who wrapped her arms around her head to try to protect herself.

The bear thrashed at her, severing three arteries and tearing her scalp and a piece of her left ear.

Greene, who is not covered for many of her medical expenses because she lives in Quebec, said it could have been much worse.

"I am walking away with my life, at least, and I am just so happy I have all my limbs and he didn't scratch out my eyes," she said.

"It's just a miracle I am still here after a bear had me in his jaws. I have never felt sheer terror before and that's what that is."

Bear turns on 69-year-old man

The attack took place between two homes and Greene was saved by a man who lived in one of them.

He rushed out after hearing her screams, and told her later the bear had lifted her right off the ground and was swinging her around in his jaws.

The man grabbed a shovel and whacked the bear in the head, causing it to drop Greene and giving her a chance to get away.

The bear then turned on the 69-year-old man.

Other people, who had been awakened by Greene's screams, came out to see the bear on top of the man. Some fired guns to try to scare the bear off, but the hulking animal wouldn't budge.

Another man then charged the bear with his vehicle, causing the animal to run.

The man suffered multiple lacerations.

He and Greene were taken to hospital and have both since recovered.


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