Thursday, September 06, 2007

B.C. woman fends off backyard bear attack on granddaughter

A grandmother is being hailed as a hero for rescuing her four-year-old granddaughter from a backyard bear attack in B.C.'s West Kootenay region that left the two with little more than scratches.

Nelson-area resident Jane Tillotson was spending a quiet day in her garden with her two visiting granddaughters, aged four and six, when she heard the youngest one, Megan Chapple, screaming.

"And I turned to look and she was coming up the steps of the garden, and a big black bear was right behind her," Tillotson told CBC News on Wednesday, speaking for the first time about the Aug. 24 attack.

The black bear swiped the girl with its claw as she tried to escape up the steps, slicing the back of her calf.

"She started crying and fell down. And the bear was moving right over her."

Tillotson raced forward and plucked Megan from between the bear's paws, she said. As the grandmother backed away, the bear came after them and swiped them both, cutting the woman's thigh and her granddaughter's belly.

With Megan in one hand and the six-year-old granddaughter in the other, Tillotson stared the bear in its eyes and began screaming.

What felt like a long minute passed, Tillotson said, and the bear wandered off.

"It finally decided that it didn't want to tangle with me and my mama bear mode and it stopped and ambled out of the garden."

The young girl required six to eight stitches on her leg.

CBC News

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