Polar Bear attack: Northern Quebec woman survives

(CBC.ca) -- An Inuk woman underwent surgery in Montreal Friday afternoon, four days after she was mauled by a polar bear near Kangiqsualujjuaq, a small Inuit community in Nunavik, in northern Quebec.

Alicie Baron, 57, stepped out of her hunting cabin late Monday night, checking around for a bear as she normally would.

Listen to Marika Wheeler's full interview with Alicie Baron from her hospital bed.

She didn't see anything.

"I think this bear was hiding behind our cabin," she said.

Baron said she turned around after hearing a sound and found herself face to face with the bear.

"I yelled twice. I tried to make a very loud yell, since my husband was inside. He only heard my last yell," she said.

Baron's husband grabbed a hunting rifle and tried to shoot the bear.

His first bullet jammed, so he got a second gun, firing two shots before the bear let go of Baron.

'I just tried my best to be strong, to try not to have the bear chew off my head,'—Alicie Baron

Baron was left with a gaping head wound and a mangled hand.

"I was afraid if I just stayed there doing nothing, he would....open my skull," said Baron from her Montreal hospital bed on Friday. "I had to use my hand for protection."

"I just tried my best to be strong, to try not to have the bear chew off my head," she said.

The couple had to wait in the hunting camp overnight for help to arrive.

Baron was first flown to Kuujjuaq for treatment, then on to Montreal.

She underwent surgery on Tuesday to treat her head wounds.

A second operation on Friday was to repair three fractures and lacerations to her right hand.

A stoic Baron said she is hoping to make a full recovery.



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