Rogers Woman Survives Bear Encounter In Colorado

A woman from Rogers was attacked by a bear near her home in Colorado. Her quick reactions to the attack may be what saved her life.

“The first thing i thought was ‘I’m not going to play dead’, because she was charging,” said Libby Swenson, a Rogers native.

Swenson was on a jog through the mountains of Colorado when a bear suddenly started chasing her.

“Her nose [wasn’t] far from my feet,” Swenson said.

Swenson ran from the bear, climbing up a tree in hope of avoiding tragedy.

“She stood on her hind legs, and was trying to bite me” Swenson said.

Screaming and kicking, Swenson was able to fight the bear off.

Swenson was born and raised in Rogers, where her parents still live.

“It scared us to death,” said Bob Crafton, Libby’s father.

Bob and Bonnie Crafton received a call saying their daughter had been chased by a bear.

“To think she came very close to dying, was very sobering and very shocking,” said Bonnie Crafton, Libby’s mother.

When Libby moved to Colorado and took up running, the Crafton’s were worried about animals attacking their daughter.

But, they always assumed it would most likely be a mountain lion that would attack.

“I had already worried about her running by herself,f” Bonnie said. “It had never crossed my mind that it would be a bear.”

The Crafton’s say they were rattled by the attack, even though their daughter was so far away from home.

“Just the thought of something happening to her would have been devastating to us,” Bob said.

Libby was able to scare the bear away, only suffering injuries from climbing the tree.

“It’s really miraculous. I think that God helped her,” Bonnie said. “Plus, the adrenaline kicked in, I’m sure, and caused her to do something that seemed impossible. “

The Crafton’s say they don’t see their daughter as much as they would like to. But, they both agreed, the next time they see her, they’ll treasure the moment all that much more.

“It’s going to be a greeting that we will appreciate more than we ever have. Realizing how closely we came to losing her,” Bonnie said.

20 comments

  • Sarah 300

    Out west, I never go hiking or running without a can of bear spray. It is cumbersome to carry but can save your life.

  • zztopperman

    Sorry. I don’t buy her story! I don’t believe she could outrun or out climb a bear! And the only injuries she had to show were injuries from climbing the tree? Yeah right!!! Hey, let’s get on TV!!! Yesterday I was chased thru the library by a gorilla! But I gave him the slip by pretending I was a banana! The only injuries I received were some paper cuts !

    • bobby

      Not buying it either, a bear can run 35 m.p.h. But if you can run down hill using a zig zag motion you’ll have a slight chance of getting away. On flat ground or up hill you won’t stand a chance. Trying too out climb a bear is not possible.

  • Ted

    Hey 5News, I have a groundhog living in my backyard. He hasn’t tried anything yet, but he’s been eyeing me suspiciously. Better get a news crew over here right away rather than covering the lives of former residents 1000 miles away.

  • Matt

    You guys are crazy. This is my aunt that this happened to. Why would someone make up a story like this? And how is it your prerogative to decide what is worthy of being on the online news? It seems that you guys must be bored or bitter. I can assure you that my aunt has enough going on in her life to not want to make up a story that would get her on an online news article back in her home town. The thought of that is actually hilarious lol

    • Ted

      It’s probably because your aunt looks and sounds crazy. In 1 of the other numerous interviews she gave she describes the bear as 500 pounds (females rarely get above 400). In another interview Colorado game managers said they had never even heard of any other attack like this. Oh and while this is probably of great interest to your family with the latest shenanigans Libby has gotten herself into, the rest of us don’t care lol

      • Matt

        Haha if you don’t care why are you commenting and reading the story? You are experiencing what is known as confusion. You clearly care, but have some sort of problem where you feel the need to assert your own opinion. Good luck to you in clearing up your confusion!

  • Sarah 300

    Not to worry Matt, most people believe her story and that includes me. Having been around wildlife they are totally unpredictable, some bears just lumber by and some are pushing for a fight. Bear pepper spray stops a running bear in his tracks.

  • Ted

    Sorry Matt, but there are only 2 options here.

    The 1st is that Auntie Swenson is telling the truth. That she managed to outrun and outclimb a wild animal with exceptional speed and climbing ability…which according to your aunt would also be the largest of its kind on record. Once the bear had your aunt trapped in a dead tree it chose to do…nothing…while your aunt also chose to do…nothing…for 15-20 minutes. The bear eventually wandered off without leaving claw marks, footprints, or any physical evidence of its existence. All we really have here are some scrapes on your aunt that she gave herself.

    The other option is that your aunt is lying.

    I’m willing to concede a 3rd option. Not being a bear expert and acting on adrenaline, your aunt grossly overestimated the size of the animal (which may not even have been a bear). 2 minutes may feel like 20 when you’re stuck in a dead tree. Despite being a very small female in a remote area your aunt wasn’t taking even basic precautions against animal or human predators. This would mean that a bear attack (though extremely unlikely as described by your aunt) could have occurred and your aunt is without doubt an exceptional idiot. Given the stupidity of your previous replies I think this is probably a genetic condition and is the most likely explanation. Good luck to you in getting rid of your stupidity!

    • Matt

      Hey I would love to meet you Ted! My phone number is 4794265403 please let me know if you’d like to get together for a drink or what have you.

  • Mark Smith

    Ted , you are an imbecile. Bears are prevalent in some parts of Colorao. Having lived there for 15 years and having had 3 bear encounters, I can assure you what was described could certainly have happened. So what if she was of by 20% on weight. Who made you a bear God anyway? Judging by your bloviating, I believe there was (or shudder thought, is) some inbreeding in your family. I know of little else that could produce such pomposity in your statements. Crack a book!

    • zztopperman

      In response to Mark Smith: I’ve seen several of your comments on this site and I find it very interesting how you seem to be under the impression that Arkansans are all a bunch of inbreds and that you are somehow superior to everyone. And your superiority complex is somehow supposed to make Ted the imbecile??? Interesting how people from other states like to move here and then slam everyone because of the actions of a few! I could venture to guess what state you were born in,but I won’t. But I can assure you there are inbreds and illiterates from all fifty states. I’ve even seen Arkansans move off ( not of ) to places like California or Colorado ( not Colorao) and then come back thinking they are somehow superior to the people of their own home state! I guess it must be something in the water from out of state that makes people ( like you ) become “legends in their own minds” ! Clearly, you aren’t as smart as you think you are!
      As for the lady that climbed up the tree…I was simply saying I didn’t buy her story. And then yes, I did kind of poke fun…it would not be the first time someone made up a story about a bear getting after them. Maybe it did happen.I wasn’t there. I was just thinking like Judge Judy: “if it doesn’t make sense, it’s probably not true.” -and then my desire to be humorous kicked in…I mean after-all, this 5 Newsonline stuff is usually pretty boring, poorly written and generally lacking in information. The best part of these stories are the comments, especially ones like from Ted, Mark, Matt and the Sarahs’. I just hope I spiced up the comments just enough to give everyone a chuckle without getting Matt mad enough to give me his phone number ! LOL ! Easy now !LOL ! :)

      • Mark Smith

        Zztop, 46 other states ARE superior to Akansas per Arkansas ranking in Education. Just as people venture out of Plato’s cave….
        (Look it up), those that remain in the cave don’t understand those that come back. Your using ” Judge Judy logic ” is the epitome of stupidity. Next you’ll be giving us morality lessons by Jerry Springer. Seriously, using day time mind-rot shows as a guiding force in your life only makes my case. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt that u were attempting to “spice things up” with what you wrote only because it would be too saddening to think the situation was actually worse than I thought. Crack a book.”

  • Matt W

    This is strange I was the one who left the first comment but I did not leave the others and did not post my phone number….someone is being funny I guess.

  • zztopperman

    It’s zztopperman Mark Smith, NOT Zztop!
    Try to get over yourself ! Nobody really thinks you are smart….they just know you are a jerk ! Your “crack a book” thing is really catchy though! I bet that you grow three sizes in ego every time you type that !

  • Lauren Swenson

    Libby is a one strong woman! A body can perform amazing tasks when your faced with a charging mama bear. So thankful she survived!!

  • Christy

    I live near Libby. First point: she never claimed to beat the bear in a 400 meter dash. She was running downhill, it came at her from a distance going perpendicular to the trail she was on and she took three huge steps to leap into the tree. She was running, but didn’t ‘outrun a bear’. Second point: She went up the tree as far as she could, and the bear tried to climb but the tree was too skinny for it. Also the Dept of Wildlife never doubted her story, and posted signs on the trail to warn others. News channels edit stories to fit their purposes. I think you assumed a situation to fill in the blanks yourself. Libby is telling the truth.

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