Alicie Baron is lucky to be alive after being attacked by a polar bear outside of her cabin near Kangiqsualujjuaq, a small Inuit community in Nunavik, in northern Quebec on July 23.

Baron, 57, said although she looked for bears as she normally does when she stepped outside she didn’t see one. She told CBC News she believed that the bear was waiting in ambush behind her home. Baron was walking away from the cabin when she heard a faint noise. She turned to investigate and found herself face to face with North America’s largest land predator. “I yelled twice,” Baron said. “I tried to make a very loud yell, since my husband was inside. He only heard my last yell.”

At that yell, Mr. Baron ran outside with rifle in hand. His first attempt to shoot the bear resulted in a misfire. He ran inside to get another rifle and returned to fire two shots (It is unclear if Mr. Baron fired into the air or at the bear.). In the time between her second yell and the firing of the two shots however Mrs. Baron was mauled extensively, suffering a gaping wound to her head and mangled hand.

“I was afraid if I just stayed there doing nothing, he would …. open my skull,” Baron said. “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.”
Due to the isolation of her the cabin, Baron had to wait overnight until she could be flown for treatment to Montreal. She has since undergone two surgeries and is expected to make a full recovery.