A woman said she was lucky to be alive after surviving a bear attack in her family Lake Tahoe home.
Laurel-Rose Von Hoffmann-Curzi was left with stiches in her face, puncture wounds to her torso and lacerations to her chest and arms after being mauled by the animal on Oct. 30, KPIX-5 reported.
“A bear mauling is not a little thing. It’s huge,” she told the outlet.
Hoffmann-Curzi said she went to investigate banging coming from the kitchen early in the morning when she saw a freezer door open. Once she realized it was a bear, she said it was too late.
“The next thing I knew, I saw the big paw and nothing else. I was just being torn out,” Hoffmann-Curzi told SFGATE.
She said she was screaming and was able to find a quilt to throw onto the bear when it had turned its back twice.
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Hoffmann-Curzi’s screams woke up her husband and son who were able to scare the bear off and it exited through a front door that was unlocked.
She was taken to the hospital with severe injuries to her face all while battling Stage 4 Lymphoma, SFGATE reported.
“I love wildlife. I love bears,” she said. “But there are bad bears, just like there are bad people. And bad bears need to be relocated, they need to be taken away.”
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife told SFGATE it is investigating the mauling and will euthanize the bear if it is caught.
Hoffmann-Curzi believes the bear entered her home after smelling the avocados left sitting on the kitchen counter.
“The scary part is [the bear] will do it again,” she told SFGATE. “And he’ll come to our house again because he knows there’s food in it. This is a dangerous bear.”
Bear attacks have been on the rise in 2021. Last month, a man riding a bike on an Alaskan trail was attacked by a 500 pound bear. In September, a dog was attacked by a bear in North Carolina while its owners were having a picnic.
Follow reporter Asha Gilbert @Coastalasha. Email: [email protected]