Web Exclusive: Woman plays dead to survive bear attack

Web Exclusive

(CBS/KOVR) - A Sacramento woman survives a bear attack in Alaska by playing dead.  Jessica Gamboa was jogging on an army base in Alaska when she encountered a mother bear.

"I felt like I was beaten to halfway death, I could see blood everywhere," says Jessica Gamboa.
Jessica Gamboa is recovering in a hospital with bear bites all over her body, lashes across her skull and gashes on her legs.  She was surprised May 18 during a morning run when she saw a bear cub, then saw the mama bear.

"She picked me up put me on the other side of the road and basically lashed me, bit me," says Jessica.  Jessica played dead remembering what she learned growing up.
"I think this is pretty much how I'm going to die," says Jessica.
But then the bear left.  Bloodied and brusied shbruisedble to limp two miles where a driver picked her up and took her to the hospital.
California wildlife officials say in Alaska playing dead works, but not in California. "Our recommendation is one were to be attacked by a California bear is to fight back aggressively," says Patrick Foy, CA Dept. of Fish & Wildlife.
Wildlife officials say the grizzly bear and the brown bear are very aggressive.  But the California black bear, the only one in the state, generally doesn't like people.  "Sticks, rocks anything you can fight the animal off," says Foy.

Jessica's scary ordeal is a chance for wildlife officials to set the record straight.  Still many are confused.

Jessica has gone through surgery has 10 staple in her body, she's expected to make a full recovery.


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