'I thought I was going to die': Pennsylvania woman survived bear attack, recalls terrifying moments

ByAndrew Dymburt ABCNews logo
Thursday, March 7, 2024
Pennsylvania woman survives after being attacked by black bear in her backyard
A Pennsylvania woman is recovering in the hospital after being attacked by a bear in her own backyard.

PITTSBUGH, Pa. -- A Pennsylvania woman is recovering in the hospital after being attacked by a black bear in her Pittsburgh backyard.

"It was just so fast. She was so aggressive. She was all over me," recalled Lee Ann Galante.

Galante is recalling the moment a black bear attacked her in her backyard north of Pittsburgh.

"She had my dog. She bit my arm. She was on top of me. I thought, you know, I thought I was going to die," she said from her hospital bed.

She had just let her dog Smokey out Tuesday night, having no idea that a female bear was lurking in the dark until she saw three bear cubs in her neighbor's tree.

"If you were to see how big those bears were in that tree, and how big she was, she just kept coming, but I didn't want her to eat my baby," Galante said. "If she would've taken one bite, he would be dead."

Somehow, the mama bear got distracted and Galante got herself and her dog back inside.

"I thought, oh my gosh, what if she's right behind us! And then I slammed the door and that was it," she recalled.

Galante suffered injuries to her head, neck and arm, and may need surgery for broken bones in her face.

"She is a trouper. When we first saw her, she certainly was very traumatized but definitely, through all of this, she's handled it very well," said Dr. Jennifer Chen, a trauma surgeon at Allegheny Health Network.