‘Little old lady’ beats black bear in brawl

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So here’s a really cool little story to share with your family and friends over the holiday weekend.

It’s about a black bear and a “little old lady” from Maryland. Apparently, this black bear decided that this little old lady was an easy target. Apparently the bear was somewhat mistaken.

Eli, the In Brief Legal Writing Services mascot.
In Brief Legal Writing Services mascot Eli catching up on the latest news. Photo by Alexandra Bogdanovic

According to one account of the seemingly lopsided brawl, the “little old lady” gave as good as she got.

The encounter reportedly happened approximately 45 miles west of Baltimore, in Frederick, Maryland. Apparently annoyed when a dog forced one of her cubs up a tree, Mamma Bear took her anger out on Karen Osborne. Osborne, 63, who had gone outside to check on a barking dog, retaliated by “punching [the bear] in the face a couple of times,” her husband told the Associated Press. When that didn’t work, she “played dead.”

While she didn’t actually die (obviously) Osborne hardly emerged unscathed. In fact, she ended up in the hospital where she was treated for a broken arm and severe “bite wounds.”

The bear also paid a hefty price for the attack, however. In fact, the bear paid with her life. The state’s Natural Resources Police told the AP that the wildlife specialists “tracked and euthanized the 200-pound female bear under a policy mandating death for bears that attack people.”

Officials quoted by the AP also said the 200-pound bear had a habit of getting into trouble. Specifically, they said that she had been “tagged” after she broke into a chicken coop last year.

Karen Osborne’s daughter acknowledged that the bear was “known” in the neighborhood.

“She’s been in the area forever. We all kind of love her,” Tara Snuffin told the AP. “We’re all very sad that this had to happen this way.”

To learn what you can do to avoid conflicts with black bears, visit the Maryland DNR’s “Living with Black Bears” page.