By Rachel Katz
A Pennsylvania teenager is recovering today from being mauled by a bear that nearly tore off an ear and left her with deep gashes on her head and arms, her mother told ABC News.
“I covered my eyes and screamed and prayed and hoped everything would be OK,” Camille Bomboy told her mother Krista Courter.
Bomboy, 18, was saved from the raging bear by her step-father Michael Courter who fired a rifle into the air to scare off the animal.
“I can’t get her scream out of my head,” Michael Courter told his wife.
The teen’s mom said that when her daughter came home, “She walked into the house and took her jacket off and when she did, she had bite marks on both her arms… She just kept saying my ear, my ear.”
In addition to the puncture wounds on her arms, Bomboy had two large gashes on her scalp and one ear nearly sliced off from the back of her head.
“My daughter is alive and it is a pure miracle,” Krista Courter said. “It’s going to be a long healing process for her, but luckily there was nothing life threatening.”
The attack occurred Monday when Bomboy was hunting deer along with her step-father and step-brother Kyle Courter. Bomboy and her step-father were driving deer towards Kyle and his friend when they spotted several bear cubs.
“The three cubs came running through and the next thing you knew, the mamma came running,” Krista Courter said.
The sow then pounced onto Bomboy and her screams alerted Michael Courter and the other hunters. Bomboy’s step-father fired a warning shot into the air when he heard her scream, which scared the bear off. He then fired at the bear again as it scampered away.
“I think she went into shock after it had happened,” Krista Courter said. “I could see her face and it looked like she was massacred.”
Courter took her daughter to a hospital, and she was later taken by ambulance to Geisinger Medical Center for more advanced treatment to close the wounds.
According to Rick Macklem, a law enforcement supervisor at the Pennsylvania Game Commission, an attack like this is very uncommon.
“Normally with black bears, they are afraid of you as much as you are afraid of them,” Macklem told ABC News. “This isn’t a matter of a vicious bear. It’s more a matter of parental instincts.”
The north-central region of Pennsylvania has a large black bear population and Macklem believes that it was nearby corn fields that attracted the bear and her cubs to the area.
Bomboy was taught to hunt by her father at age 10 and had her hunting license at the age of 12.
“She has hunted all her life,” Krista Courter said. “She is very actively involved with the Pennsylvania Youth Hunter Education Challenge and is big on nature. It was a freak accident.”
The freshman at Lock Haven University is now home and recovering.
When asked if she thought her daughter would go hunting again, Krista Courter said, “She doesn’t seems too discouraged, but it’s up to her. She doesn’t seem like ‘Oh my gosh, I’m never going back into the woods.’”