Seconds after taking a grinning selfie on a hike, this family's joy turned to terror.
Laurie Cooksey was hiking with her children in a state park in Virginia on Saturday when a bear suddenly attacked.
In a bizarre twist of events, the family had joked about what to do in case they came across a bear.
Cooksey told INSIDE EDITION: “My son, Ellis, has always had a fear of bears. So, we jokingly had a signal if we saw a bear. We were going to say ‘Whootie hoot’ but he didn't do that. He said: 'Oh my God, there is a bear!'"
Without warning, the bear pounced on Laurie, bit her leg and starting shaking it in its mouth.
“I know bears are really fast and I just really thought I wasn't going to make it," she said.
But she fought back.
"I kicked him and hit him and he tumbled and fell backwards," she said. "He was kind of uneasy and that was just enough time for me to run back up to the trail."
She suffered painful puncture wounds, cuts and deep scratches but her children kept her spirits up. They had to hike four more miles before they could get help.
Her son, Ellis, said: "We were just nervous the bear was going to come back. We were making sure she could walk and see if she was okay."
Daughter Hannah added: "It was very scary but I knew if anyone could handle it, it would be my mom."
The bear was later shot by animal control.
As for Laurie, she has a new philosophy about bear.
“What doesn't kill you makes you stronger but a bear will f**** kill you," she wrote on Facebook.
Wildlife expert Corbin Maxey told INSIDE EDITION: "She deserves, literally, a medal for that."
He said that there are certain things you should do if you encounter a bear.
"If you are out in the woods, make noise if you come across a bear. Look big. Put your hands above your head. Basically, mount your presence to make yourself look as big as possible," he said.
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