A Utah woman is in an Alaska hospital after a grizzly bear attacked her near a lodge Wednesday night.

Abby Sisk, 21, underwent surgery Thursday morning, a day after a bear wrapped its jaws around her head and dragged her a few feet before someone scared it off, said Alaska State Trooper spokeswoman Beth Ipsen.

Sisk, whose hometown was not immediately known, was listed in critical condition at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage.

Sisk, a seasonal employee at the Kenai Princess Lodge in Cooper Landing, about 50 miles from Anchorage, was returning from a hike and was about 25 yards from the lodge Wednesday when she was attacked just before 11 p.m., Ipsen said.

"A bear came out of the bushes and attacked," Ipsen said. "It dragged her a few feet. It was close to the lodge, and a visitor heard what he thought was laughter, and then screaming. He came out of the lodge and saw the bear standing on top of Abby with her head in the bear's jaws."

The man waved his arms and yelled, scaring the bear off into the woods.

Sisk suffered major lacerations to her head and face, Ipsen said.

Police are unsure what prompted the bear to attack. Alaska State Troopers said the attack is alarming because it happened so close to a lodge in a popular hiking area.

Troopers were looking for the bear Thursday morning, but Ipsen said the task would be difficult, if not impossible.

"There are about 25 brown bears in the area," she said, "and actually tracking down the one responsible for this would be really difficult."


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