Bozeman| 71-year old Alice Fitzgerald and her dog, Princess, are the living proof of the special relationship that can sometimes bind some dogs and human beings. The Montana woman’s pet, a 11-year old female standard poodle, bravely came to its mistress’ rescue when she was charged by a very aggressive grizzly bear yesterday, successfully scaring the beast away.
The incident took place while Ms. Fitzgerald’s was mowing her lawn on her property of 5 acres in the Rocky Mountains, near the city of Bozeman. An adult grizzly female appeared in her yard and for some reason that remains unclear, charged towards the elderly woman who attempted to escape on her lawn tractor. Moments before the wild animal was able to catch up with her, her beloved pet poodle came to her rescue, jumping at the gigantic creature’s face and attacking it.
“My little Princess was so brave” explains the elderly lady, still shocked by the events. “The monstrous bear was running towards me with its gigantic jaws opened and its fangs showing… when out of nowhere appeared my courageous little one who jumped at it, barking and trying to bite its muzzle and eyes… The grizzly bear seemed to be hurt by one of the bites and ran away!”
It is not the first grizzly bear attack in the state of Montana in 2014, leading experts to fear that the increased proximity between human and brown bears could lead to more and more incidents. A hunter from Stevensville was mauled by a grizzly near Centennial Valley in June and had to be hospitalised in serious conditions. Two visitors hiking on a trail near Canyon Village in the north-central part of the Yellowstone National Park in August, accidentally came between a grizzly and its cub and the mom attacked. The pair was treated for bites and claw wounds before being released from the hospital.
The number of bear attacks in North America has been constantly increasing over the last 20 years, as cities have continued to expand over the great predator’s natural habitat. Luckily for Ms. Fitzgerald, this one did not end up as badly as many of the other ones.