Renee Levow, 55, was walking her two German shepherds near her home when they encountered a bear, which then attacked her after one of her dogs charged.
Levow, of Frederick County, Maryland, was walking her two dogs named Kylie and Bones, when a large bear suddenly appeared.
Kylie lunged at the bear and tried to fight it; however, the bear decided to go after Levow.
Levow said she did what she was always told to do when encountering a bear in the wild. She started yelling and tried to act big.
Sadly, this move backfired as the bear now charged her.
Levow recollected the terrifying moment as the bear attacked her, she said.
“After a few seconds, he swatted me down and then bit my left leg twice just above my knee, and then he tossed me to the side and continued to bite me.”
“He bit my skull and the side of my face twice — [and with] the first bite on the left side of my face and head, I heard my skull crunch,” she continued.
Levow remembered the sound was awful. She thought she was going to die, she said.
“Then, he bit me again on the right side of my scalp, above my eye, severing the nerves,” Levow continued.
At that point, the only thing Levow could think to do was to play dead.
So, Levow covered her head with her arms and rolled flat on the ground. Thankfully it worked and the bear became uninterested and left the scene, she said.
In order to make sure the bear was gone, Levow lay there, unmoving, for 10 minutes.
Levow, covered in blood, pulled out her phone and called 911.
Levow, grateful to have help nearby said, “I was lucky because we have a local fire department, and the chief that was on call lives just at the end of my street — so he came to my aid and started wrapping my injuries.”
Levow recounted that she could not feel any of her injuries at the moment as she was still on an adrenaline high.
Levow was airlifted to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.
Levow had multiple surgeries to fix her orbital fracture, severed nerves, and the open wounds on her scalp, face, chest, and left leg.
It has been over two years and Levow said she feels lucky to be alive though scars from the attack remain.
“I have a scar on my chest from where he initially swatted me to the ground, and then I have damage to my left leg above the knee where he took two bites,” she said.
“I also have permanent nerve damage on my scalp, face, and leg — but I’m thankful he left me alone, and I’m alive.”
Neither of Levow’s dogs were injured during the attack.
As reported by Fox News,
Taylor Phillips, owner of Jackson Hole EcoTour Adventures in Wyoming, told Fox News Digital that playing dead is the best way to react when encountering a bear by surprise.
“If the bear makes contact, it’s advisable to lay face down on the ground and with your hands protecting your neck,” he said.
Phillips said if you encounter a bear from a distance and it approaches you — fight back.
“Yell, throw objects and fight as your life depends on it,” he said.
The National Park Service (NPS) stated that if you encounter a bear you should, “Stay calm and remember that most bears do not want to attack you; they usually just want to be left alone. Bears may bluff their way out of an encounter by charging and then turning away at the last second.”
“Bears may also react defensively by wooﬁng, yawning, salivating, growling, snapping their jaws, and laying their ears back,” the NPS continued.
“Continue to talk to the bear in low tones; this will help you stay calmer, and it won’t be threatening to the bear. A scream or sudden movement may trigger an attack. Never imitate bear sounds or make a high-pitched squeal,” the service added.