A late-night ‘ruckus’ in the kitchen of her New Hampshire home changed the life of 71-year-old Apryl Rogers.
“It was 11:30 at night and I was in bed and I heard this ruckus and thought, ‘What the heck could it be,’ and I found out,” Rogers told The New Hampshire Union Leader.
Rogers, who uses a wheelchair, discovered a black bear had gotten inside through an unlocked door and was ransacking her cabinets in search of food, the publication reported.
“It was a big black bear with big claws, and I don’t know, he just sat right next to me and kept going like this, and I kept going, ‘Oh no, something’s gonna happen,’ ” Rogers told WHDH.
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The bear “ripped her left cheek open, fractured her neck, scarred her scalp and damaged her left eye so badly it had to be removed, “ according to the station.
Rogers made her way to her living room.
“I said to myself, ‘You’ve got to do it, or you’re going to die right here,’” Rogers told WMUR. She dialed 911.
“I said, ‘Could you please come right away. I’ve been mauled by a bear,’ and they said, ‘We’ll be right there honey,’ ” Rogers told WHDH.
Rogers spent weeks in the hospital and underwent two surgeries, with further surgeries planned, reported the Union-Leader. She’s now in a care facility to recover further.
“I’m not going to let anything get me down, you know?” Rogers told WMUR. “It’s not worth it. I’d rather laugh than cry — and I do. I have my moments when I cry, but I’m fine. I’m happy.”
New Hampshire fish and wildlife authorities wanted to euthanize the bear to check it for rabies, but were unable to find it, forcing Rogers also to undergo rabies vaccinations, reported the Union Leader.
But WMUR reported that Rogers “has no hard feelings toward the bear.”
“I feel great,” she told WHDH. “I feel happy. I feel strong. I’d like to get over him and I’ll be fine.”
Wildlife officials believe the bear may have been attracted to Rogers’ home by bird feeders hanging outside and “the smell of cat food” stored inside, reported the Union Leader.
The bear got in through a partly unlatched door, which then swung shut behind it, authorities told the publication.
“Make sure you keep your doors locked,” Rogers told the Union Leader.