There have been at least 19 recorded black bear attacks since the 1970s.

There have been at least 19 recorded black bear attacks since the 1970s. / AFP via Getty Images

A Washington state woman left her home to let her dog out early Saturday morning and ended up fending off an attack from a black bear.

The woman, who sustained non-life threatening injuries, punched the bear "right in the nose," which led it to run away, according to one official who spoke to local TV station King 5.

"We are extremely thankful that the victim is receiving medical care from this unfortunate encounter," Captain Mike Jewell of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife said in a press release. "Public safety is our priority; our officers and staff were quick to mobilize to locate the animal and secure the scene."

The attack occurred near Enchantment Park and Blackbird Island in Chelan County, about 75 miles east of Seattle. The woman is being treated at the Wenatchee hospital, according to the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

And while black bear attacks are rare, they aren't unheard of. Since 1970, 19 other "human-black bear encounters" have led to injuries, according to Washington state authorities. In 1974, a black bear attack led to someone's death.

Wildlife officers killed and removed an adult sow black bear found where the attack occurred. Two small cubs were transported to a wildlife rehabilitation facility, WDFW said.

Bears generally avoid humans. Animal experts recommend standing up and waving your hands if a bear comes nearby and to back away slowly — never run away.

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