ANCHORAGE -

Alaska State Troopers say a Cordova woman is fortunate to have escaped with her life after she was mauled by a brown bear in the Chugach National Forest Tuesday afternoon.

According to a Wednesday AST dispatch, Alaska Wildlife Troopers in Cordova were informed at about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday that 57-year-old Thea Thomas had been hiking on the Heney Ridge Trail with two dogs, in the vicinity of a salmon stream.

“When she was at the stream the two dogs she was hiking with took off,” troopers wrote. “The dogs returned shortly thereafter with a brown bear running after them. The bear, after noticing Thomas, attacked her multiple times. The two dogs that had been with Thomas left the area while she was being mauled.”

AST spokesperson Megan Peters says the bear immediately shifted its focus to Thomas.

“When the bear saw her, it veered off the dogs and went after her,” Peters said.

Once the bear attacked Thomas, Peters says she took measures to protect herself, backing into some brush and entering a fetal position.

“At one point, the bear stood up on its hind legs and she said it was six to seven feet tall,” Peters said. “This was a very angry bear.”

After the attack, Thomas stayed at the scene as the bear departed.

“The bear eventually left her and walked in the direction she needed to leave, so she waited a few minutes,” Peters said.

Thomas was able to hike a mile and a half back to her vehicle, then drive herself to a hospital for treatment of her injuries. Both of the dogs in the incident rejoined her by the time she returned to the truck.

“In this case, dogs are definitely an aggravating factor,” Peters said. “The victim is very familiar with the outdoors and very familiar with this trail.”

The trail has been closed for the next week, after troopers coordinated with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and the U.S. Forest Service.

“She was able to stay calm and essentially she saved herself,” Peters said. “She’s really lucky to be alive.”

Troopers say no plans have been made to seek the bear.

This is a developing story. Please check KTUU.com and the Channel 2 newscasts for updates.