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Silverthorne Woman Survives Terrifying Encounter With Bear

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SILVERTHORNE, Colo. (CBS4)- A woman survived a terrifying encounter with a bear in Silverthorne and is talking about what happened.

Libby Swenson was taking her early morning run along a trail about a half mile from her home in Silverthorne when the bear attacked.

“I heard this sound which still kind of terrifies me. It was like a ‘HARRUMP, HARRUMP.’ It was like a snort and a growl,” said Swenson.

Swenson said the bear charged at her full speed and she only had seconds to act.

“The first thing I thought was ‘I’m not going to play dead’ because she was charging, you know, and I thought, ‘If I lay down, I’m toast,’” said Swenson.

The bear chased her into a dead aspen tree and Swenson climbed it like a telephone pole.

She got pretty cut up and bruised her entire body trying to get away from the bear.

Swenson said the bear tried to climb after her but couldn’t because the animal was too big for the tree.

“She stood on her hind legs and was trying to bite me and had her arms up… her nose was this far from my feet,” said Swenson.

She kicked the bear a few times in the snout and started to scream. The bear continued to pace underneath her but after a few minutes it retreated.

Swenson then learned why the bear had been so aggressive in the first place, “I saw her at the bottom of a tree and all of a sudden I saw a cub run up a tree.”

Black bears appear in backyards and neighborhoods on a regular basis in Colorado but they are typically shy of human contact.

Swenson said she had never seen a bear on that trail but said the next time she goes, it won’t be alone.

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