Bear Sought in Attack on Valles Caldera Marathon Runner in New Mexico

Black Bear Face
Black Bears
New Mexico Game & Fish
New Mexico Department of Game and Fish

Jemez, NM -( New Mexico Department of Game and Fish officers are searching for an adult female black bear that attacked a woman Saturday afternoon while she was participating in a marathon event on the Valles Calderas National Preserve near Los Alamos.

According to responding officers, the attack occurred when the victim surprised a mother bear whose cub ran up a nearby tree. Although the full extent of the victim’s injuries are unknown, initial reports indicate that woman was bit and scratched multiple times and sustained non-life threatening injuries to her upper body, head and neck.

Nearby joggers provided immediate assistance until additional help could arrive. She was airlifted to an Albuquerque area hospital where she is being treated for her injuries.

The department is coordinating with the National Park Service to secure and deter people from entering the area. A response team that specializes in wildlife attacks of this nature has also been assisting.

Once found, the bear will be euthanized and tested for rabies. Although rabies in bears is rare, it is nearly 100 percent fatal in humans if not properly treated.

Here are some ways to protect yourself If you encounter a bear:

  • Stop, and back away slowly while facing the bear. Avoid direct eye contact, as the bear may consider that a threat. Do not run. Make yourself appear large by holding out your jacket. If you have small children, pick them up so they don’t run.
  • Give the bear plenty of room to escape, so it doesn’t feel threatened or trapped. If a black bear attacks you, fight back using anything at your disposal, such as rocks, sticks, binoculars or even your bare hands. Aim for the bear’s nose and eyes.
  • If the bear has not seen you, stay calm and slowly move away, making noise so the bear knows you are there. Never get between a mother bear and her cubs.

If you live or camp in bear country:

  • Keep garbage in airtight containers inside your garage or storage area. Place garbage outside in the morning just before pickup, not the night before. Occasionally clean cans with ammonia or bleach.
  • Remove bird feeders. Bears see them as sweet treats, and often they will look for other food sources nearby.
  • Never put meat or sweet-smelling food scraps such as melon in your compost pile.
  • Don’t leave pet food or food dishes outdoors at night.
  • Clean and store outdoor grills after use. Bears can smell sweet barbecue sauce and grease for miles.
  • Never intentionally feed bears to attract them for viewing.
  • Keep your camp clean, and store food and garbage properly at all times. Use bear-proof containers when available. If not, suspend food, toiletries, coolers and garbage from a tree at least 10 feet off the ground and 4 feet out from the tree trunk.
  • Keep your tent and sleeping bag free of all food smells. Store the clothes you wore while cooking or eating with your food.
  • Sleep a good distance from your cooking area or food storage site.

About the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish:

To provide and maintain an adequate supply of wildlife and fish within the State of New Mexico by utilizing a flexible management system that provides for their protection, propagation, regulation, conservation, and for their use as public recreation and food supply.

For more information, visit:

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why would they schedule a marathon through a national park and not use canons to scare off the animals from their habitat and home a couple days prior including the day of the race, and monitor the path that the runner will be running? Stupid, stupid, stupid. Not only a woman was mauled and forever scared, but the bear who is in it’s own territory being what God designed her to be, protective of her young ones had to lose her life, and the cubs now without a mother to teach them how to survive and the skills needed to… Read more »


I just called FISH and GAME in new mexico,they already KILLED THE BEAR,her cubs are in a hold place,and will probably die,THAT YOU STUPID WOMEN,you are singley handedly going to destroy america while your girlymen stand by and watch……..THIS YOU WILL REGRET………….


THESE fish and game people were hired to PROTECT AND CONSERVE YOUR WILD LIFE,not to murder them,IF you stupid morons insist on going into an area where the wildlife is,TAKE THE FISH AND GAME PEOPLE WITH YOU,otherwise STAY OUT OF THE AREA,..ALL wildlife will protect their young from other animals,including really STUPID ONES…..unlike HUMANS who sacrifice their children to SATAN,and never give a thought to it……BUT judgement day is coming….WAR in the streets of america……….

sylvia from arizona

Leave the bear alone. She was protecting her cub. People need to be aware of these things. Animals WILL attack if they believe their cubs are threatened.


Revelation 6:8 King James Version

8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth

Chirs Louden

We live in a world where animals lives are more valuable than human beings, That’s just SAD! PS and black bears are not few. there are plenty

chris louden

a womans life is more valuable than bears


I feel the best solution to this problem would be to call in those brave elected airheads who advocate gun control and give them a good switch (maybe one from a willow tree) contact me so I can come as an observer, then send them in to coral those bears, but under no circumstances should their right or means to protect themselves with their switch’s be impinged on in the likely event the bears get angry over the intrusion.

Wild Bill

If you would like to comment to the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish about killing the bear and cubs, you can call Customer Assistance (888) 248-6866 (toll-free), or (505) 476-8000. You can speak directly with a customer service representative. To reach customer service by e-mail, contact us directly at [email protected]

Wild Bill

So we end up killing three bears because of one stupid woman? Stupid people we have plenty, therefore they are not valuable. Black bears are few, and are therefor valuable. I weigh the balance and come up with … Who the hell do I write to about this travesty?


The woman’s life is far more valuable because she has a soul, that Jesus gave his life for.


Kip – agreed. Good call. I’d hate to have friends like Wild Bill.


Women have souls?!


Kind of ridiculous to euthanize the bear. She was only being a good mother and didn’t even kill the woman, which I’m sure she could easily have done.