Colorado woman chased by bear on ‘Today Show’
Colorado Springs Gazette
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO Colorado ” The Colorado Springs woman who was hit by a car after being chased by a bear was on the “Today Show” this morning, saying she has been painted as a villain for causing the bear’s death.
You can see the clip here.
Ashley Swendsen, 26, and her fiance, Jesse Daly, were interviewed by Meredith Vieira about Swendsen’s ordeal on April 23.
“It’s an amazing story,” Vieira said. “It’s bizarre.”
Swendsen told Vieira she initially stayed calm after seeing the bear.
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“At first I pretended like it was a dog, like a good dog, because it was a cute bear,” she said. When the bear continued to follow her, she began to run away and scream for help.
She ran up onto nearby Vincent Road, which doesn’t have a pedestrian sidewalk, and was hit by a car. She landed on its hood. The driver talked with Ashley for a moment and then drove off, not stopping to help. The driver turned herself into authorities on Saturday, Ashley said.
Swendsen described the bear to wildlife officials, who found it nearby and killed it.
By the next day, public sentiment appeared to be backing the bear, with many people saying officials had over-active trigger fingers. Swendsen told Viera she had mixed feelings about that.
“If I had known that was what was going to happen, maybe I wouldn’t have identified the bear,” she said. “But what if the bear would have attacked a little kid, then of course it would have been euthanized.”
The appearance on the “Today Show” is just the latest publicity for Swendsen after the incident. Her story has appeared in newspapers and on television stations across the United States.
Daly, her fiance, told Vieira their life has been a whirlwind.
“Within minutes, the police and camera and news people showed up and it’s just been insane ever since.”
“Today” show story and interview: