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Woman Says She Punched Bear in the Nose

August 2, 2005

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) _ A 50-year-old Holyoke woman said she punched a black bear in the nose as it attacked her, but the bear didn’t flinch.

``It was totally ineffective,″ Mary Munn said of her attempts to fend off the bear during Friday’s attack. The ordeal lasted less than a minute, but in that time the bear bit her in several places, as Munn’s dog tried to distract the 150 to 200 pound animal.

Munn described the attack on Monday, speaking from a wheelchair in a conference room at St. Mary’s Hospital. She showed reporters the gouge in her right leg. She also had deep bites in her side and armpit.

Munn said she was walking near a beaver pond in the woods near her home on Friday when she spotted a bear about 30 feet away. The bear charged her immediately, but did not attack, she said.

The bear charged a couple more times, and Munn hit it with a stick and punched it in the nose. The bear then attacked, knocking Munn down and biting and clawing her on her torso, arms and legs. Her dog, a boxer named Maggie, distracted the bear a little, but Munn did not run.

The attack lasted less than a minute, then the bear looked at something and went away, Munn said.

Munn walked back to her house, called for help and waited about 30 minutes outside for police to come.

DNR searches for the bear have not been successful. If a bear that matches Munn’s description is found, it will be killed and examined for disease.

Munn is being treated for rabies, just to be safe, said Dr. Kevin Stephan.

Despite her injuries, Munn was joking about the attack on Monday.

``I’m 50,″ Munn said. ``It will be another 50 years before another bear attacks me.″

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Information from: Duluth News Tribune, http://www.duluthsuperior.com

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