Linda Beck's husband normally accompanies her to feed the bears and would take his gun with him. This time she went alone.
The bears are kept in three pens so when a person is going to feed the bears they can be locked out of that pen. Donald Beck said, Daisy, the 400-pound bear was in a cement den and his wife never saw her.
reports Donald Beck said, "It was an accident. These are bears we have taken care of before. I usually go with her and take my gun with me."
When the bear heard Beck it came toward her. Beck panicked and started to run out of the cage. The bear went after her and knocked her down. The bear then tore at her body. She had back, neck and arm injuries.
She now realizes running from the bear was the worst thing she could have done.
reports Beck said, "Don't run. Make all of the noise you can to distract the bear. And usually, in the wild, they'll run away."
Realizing she needed help if she was going to survive the attack she started to pray. She said, "I knew I needed more help than what I could give to stop her. So, I started to pray. And all of a sudden, as soon as I was done praying, there was a little water bucket over there. And I grabbed it and put it over her face."
With the bear temporally stopped Beck got up even though she was injured and ran out of the enclosure. There are two sets of ten-foot-tall electrified chain link fence that surrounds the pens. Not having time to lock the gate as she ran out the bear was able to escape.
She managed to get into her vehicle and drive herself home. Her husband called 911 and she was taken to a hospital in the nearby town of Ironwood. From there she was airlifted to Aspirus Wausau Hospital in Wisconsin.
The bear was shot and killed by the police.
Traverse City Record-Eagle
reports Sgt. Steven Burton, of the Department of Natural Resources' law enforcement division, said, "It's an unfortunate accident." Speaking of the DNR-licensed facility he added that it was "very clean and well-run."
A second bear that weighs 350 pounds was not part of the attack so it is still there.
The two bears came from a wildlife center in Colorado and are much larger than Michigan wild bears.
Beck said, "I'm alive, and I thank the Lord for that."
A video can be seen here