Scottish Tourist Survives Bear Encounter in Romania

Scottish tourist mauled by bear through car window in Romania | STV News

A Scottish tourist, Moira Gallacher, 72, narrowly escaped a life-threatening situation after an encounter with a wild bear in Romania’s Carpathian Mountains. Moira and her friend Charmian Widdowson were on a scenic drive when they attempted to photograph some local wildlife, leading to an unexpected and dangerous interaction.

The incident began harmlessly as the tourists spotted a brown bear near their vehicle. Initially, the bear allowed them to snap a few pictures and then moved away. However, when the bear returned, it aggressively approached the car. “I thought he wanted to be friends,” Widdowson recalled, believing the bear’s curiosity was harmless.

Tragically, the situation escalated when the bear reached into the car and bit Gallacher. The attack resulted in Gallacher being rushed to the hospital with injuries to her right hand. Despite the terrifying encounter, she managed to maintain her humor. “I’m not going to be on STV News,” she joked while being transported on a stretcher.

The attack, captured briefly in a video shared by Scottish outlet STV News on X (formerly Twitter), shows the immediate aftermath of the mauling. Before the attack, Widdowson had parked the car to get a better shot of the bear and its cub, describing them as “gorgeous.” However, she quickly realized the danger as the mother bear, driven by hunger, became aggressive.

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Widdowson attributed their survival to Gallacher’s multiple layers of clothing, including a thick jacket from Marks & Spencer, which fortunately protected her from more severe injuries. “She got more jacket than arm,” Widdowson explained.

Reflecting on the ordeal, Gallacher feels incredibly fortunate. “I’ve been very, very lucky,” she said, acknowledging the potential for much worse outcomes. The hospital staff at Curtea de Argeș Municipal Hospital confirmed her stable condition following the attack.

This incident serves as a stark reminder of the dangers of interacting with wild animals, especially in regions like Romania, which boasts the largest population of European brown bears. These animals, capable of reaching speeds of 30 mph and standing up to 7 feet tall, are particularly active during the spring months after hibernating through the winter.

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