Author: Jean

The Bears Are Coming Out of the Woods

The Bears Are Coming Out of the Woods

A black bear charged a Washington woman walking her dog, police say. Then it took her dog for a walk on the Columbia River Trail.

“I have not been this scared in all my life,” said Christine Fennell, 28, on Thursday.

She said she feared for her life Friday as one of three black bears prowled a popular section of trail along the river. In addition, Fennell said, another black bear was spotted on the trail right behind her.

“I thought, you know what,” she said. “I’m not going to be that dumb.”

According to witnesses and police reports, at 5:20 p.m. Fennell was walking her dog across a section of the Columbia River Trail near Ebey Park in Arlington. It was her first day on the trail and she was walking by the nearby Dogwood Festival when she noticed a black bear near the river.

Fennell said she saw the bear, who she called “Big Girl” because of her large frame, and “that’s when I took off running. … I thought my life was over.”

As she ran she heard the bear chase her and said she could hear it calling her name. Fennell said she screamed for help and tried to climb the fence surrounding the park but it was too high. When she reached the sidewalk she saw the bear.

Then, she said, another black bear came out of nowhere, “sauntering” down the path.

The two bears got within 25 feet of Fennell before a third arrived, according to Fennell. She said the third bear walked along her, looking at her but making no aggressive moves and then began to playfully run her dog on the shoulder of the trail.

While the third bear walked the dog, Fennell continued to struggle with the first and second bears, trying to climb over a gate to get away. When she reached the top of the gate the third black

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