Scottish Tourist in Romania Survives Bear Attack Thanks to Marks & Spencer Coat

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A Scottish tourist on a road trip in Romania had a close call with a brown bear after attempting to take a selfie through a car window. Moira Gallacher, a 72-year-old from West Lothian, was rushed to the hospital after the bear bit her hand while she was traveling on the scenic Transfagarasan route through the Carpathian Mountains, an area known for its large bear population.

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Moira was on a trip with her friend, Charmian Widdowson, who had previously lived and worked in Romania. The duo was driving along the Transfagarasan, a famous scenic drive, when they came across a group of bears. Moira, eager to capture the moment with a selfie, leaned out of the car window to get a closer look, only to be met with a swift attack.

Speaking to Romania’s Observator News, Moira simply said, “I come from Scotland,” and added, “My arm is sore.” She described the incident: “We were in the car and we were going to take a picture. And the bear came up to the window.”

Charmian, jokingly recalling the event, said the hungry bears seemed to think Moira was on the menu. “The mummy bear was hungry and thought my friend was going to be lunch,” she told STV News. The bear’s attack left Moira with wounds on her right hand, requiring emergency medical treatment.

Luckily, Moira was wearing a heavily padded jacket from Marks & Spencer, which likely prevented more serious injuries. Her friend Charmian noted, “The bear got more jacket than arm.” Moira acknowledged her good fortune, stating, “I’m a very lucky woman, I was wearing a padded jacket and a top and another top – that’s what saved my arm. I’ve been very, very lucky.”

After the incident, Moira was taken by ambulance to the Curtea de Argeș Municipal Hospital, where Andreea Gheordunescu, the hospital’s manager, confirmed that she had suffered wounds on her right hand from a bear bite.

The Transfagarasan route, a popular destination for tourists and adventurers, is also home to around 6,000 European brown bears. These formidable creatures can weigh up to 350 kg, stand over 7 ft tall, and run at speeds of 30 mph.

Despite her scary encounter, Moira seems to be in good spirits, though the shock of the incident has set in. “The shock has set in today, but everything’s okay now,” she said.

While the urge to get close to these magnificent creatures is understandable, the incident is a stark reminder of the risks involved in interacting with wild animals. Visitors to the region are advised to maintain a safe distance from wildlife and adhere to local guidelines to avoid similar encounters.

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