(Reuters) - A woman mauled by a brown bear while jogging at a U.S. military base in Alaska survived the attack and then, bleeding from serious injuries, dragged herself two miles uphill to a paved road before finding help, authorities said on Tuesday.
The woman likely survived the Sunday attack by playing dead, said Jim Hart, spokesman for Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage. She showed tremendous will power by making it up a rugged trail to the road, where a passer-by came to her aid, he added.
"It's amazing for her to be able to walk that far in spite of her injuries," Hart said. "It's pretty heroic."
The bear, who authorities determined was protecting its young, will be left in peace, although the area where the attack occurred will be temporarily closed off, he said.
The woman had gone for a run in a wooded area of the base with her husband, a soldier stationed there, but the two became separated. The bear, who was with two cubs, saw the woman, perceived her as a threat and went on the attack, Hart said.
The woman went limp until the bear stopped mauling her, a response that likely saved her life, Hart said. He did not identify her or give details of the injuries, but said she was in stable condition.
"The bear did what bears do," he said. "She did what she was supposed to. She just lay still."
Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Gunna Dickson