Mililani woman recovering from bear attack in Alaska
A Mililani woman was being treated in a Seattle hospital yesterday after she was mauled by a brown bear in southeastern Alaska.
Ann Scheller, a 57-year-old emergency room nurse, suffered head and leg wounds in the attack Sunday in Berg Bay, about 20 miles east of Wrangell.
Scheller, reached by phone in her hospital room yesterday, said she was briefly separated from two friends while on a hike. She suddenly found herself between a female bear and her two cubs, and tried to quietly slip away when the bear attacked.
"I was in the wrong place at the wrong time," Scheller said. "She sent out the warnings, and I was just trying to move on."
After the attack, Scheller tried to crawl back to a meadow that she and her companions had traversed earlier, but she did not get all the way there and remained in the open for "about an hour" until her friends found her.
Alaska State Troopers said the bears left the area after the attack.
Scheller was mauled on the right lower leg, left thigh and neck. She also suffered fractures of bones in her neck and a fractured frontal sinus.
Scheller, who had been on a sailing trip with friends along the Alaska coast, was flown first to a hospital in the Alaska town of Ketchikan, then to Seattle for further treatment. She was listed in satisfactory condition at Harborview Medical Center.
Doctors have told her she could be ready to return to Hawaii by the weekend following minor surgery, she said.
Scheller had praise for the evacuation and emergency personnel who cared for her and got her to the hospital.
"There was such a wonderful response from all the people. I don't even know their names, but they really should be commended," she said.
Star-Bulletin reporter Dan Martin and the Associated Press contributed to this report.