Pensioner who punched bear says she only survived because it took her dog

A pensioner who fought off a 300-pound bear says she survived the mauling only because it took her dog.

Carol Neighbour, 81, was bitten and scratched as she attempted to wrestle the bear for her beloved spaniel, Amanda, from a bear raiding her rubbish.

The New Jersey resident stumbled across two bears who were ransacking her rubbish on January 3 before they attacked her springer spaniel, the New York Post reports.

She said: "I survived because he took the dog. If he had not taken the dog, he probably would have gotten rid of me."

At around 7 o'clock, she had just let out Amanda, her 14-year-old Spaniel, and her daughter's god, a "very fast" Vizsla – only to see them confront two bears that were eating her rubbish.

Ms Neighbour said: "When I turned on the light and the dogs started running at them and barking, the big bear ran away."

The smaller bear – which was over 300 pounds, according to officials – attacked Amanda.

She sprang to her dog's defence, saying she was "punching at him and yelling", but her blows had almost no effect.

The bear bit into Neighbour's leg, leaving a gash that required stitches to close.

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Neighbour said: "He knocked me to the ground and took the dog.

"When they finally found her in the woods, they took her to the vet and she couldn't be saved.

"We had to put her mother down this year, who was 17. It's hard losing two in the same year. "

Government officials plan to put the pooch-killing bear down, once they find it.

Neighbour added: "They went out looking that night… but they didn't find the bear.

"I have a bear trap in my driveway now."

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