PHOENIX -- An Arizona woman is fortunate to be alive after a scary encounter with a member of the animal kingdom.
"She started to run away and she happened to run in my direction and we tumbled down a hill together." Dr. Laura Roth said of a female black bear that was startled when a much larger male bear showed up unexpectedly.
One of the black bear's largest teeth, a canine, tore into Dr. Roth's side, puncturing her chest cavity.
Because black bears, unlike their bigger, more aggressive cousins the Grizzly bear, are usually shy and not aggressive, she believes the bear's bite was a reaction and not an attack.
"I was more concerned about her than I was for myself," said Dr. Roth, who is the medical outreach veterinarian with the Maricopa County Animal Care and Control.
It took her three hours to hike out of the area and get to a hospital but she knows it could have been much worse. The frightened bear didn't use it's biggest weapon during the tumble, it's huge claws.
In Arizona, we only have black bears. Experts agree that if you're confronted you should make noise, raise your arms and spread your coat or shirt to appear bigger than you really are, and move away slowly, giving the bear plenty of room to escape.
And never get between a mama bear and her cubs, that's a recipe for disaster.