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What You Should Do In A Bear Attack, And Why There’s A Good Chance You’re Wrong

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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A Sacramento woman who survived a bear attack in Alaska says playing dead saved her life, but that might not have worked in California.

Jessica Gamboa is recovering from some serious puncture wounds from that bear. She says she learned growing up to play dead if she was ever attacked by a bear.

“I felt like I was beaten to halfway death, I could see blood everywhere,” she said.

She has bear bites all over her body, gashes on her legs and lashes on her skull from the May 18 morning run. She saw a bear cub, then saw the mama bear.

“She picked me up put me on the other side of the road and basically lashed me, bit me,” she said.

When she played dead, the bear left. Bloodied and bruised, Gamboa was able to limp two miles to where a driver picked her up and took her to the hospital.

California wildlife officials say playing dead is fine in Alaska, but not so much in California.

“Our recommendation is if one were to be attacked by a California bear is to fight back aggressively,” said Patrick Foy with the California Department of Fish and Game.

He says the grizzly bear and the brown bear are very aggressive, but the California black bear generally doesn’t like people.

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