Lunch With A Leader: Bear Attack Survivor Karen Williams Discusses Efforts To Protect Animals Jan. 17

Karen Williams


Lunch with a Leader, a community event presented by the League of Women Voters, is 11:45 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17 at Mesa Public Library.

This month’s guest speaker is Karen Williams. Williams is a critical care nurse at Los Alamos Medical Center and best known for her tragic encounter with a bear when she ran between that bear and her cubs during a trail marathon last June in the Valle Caldera. New Mexico Game & Fish euthanized the mother bear following the attack. 

Williams is an Air Force brat who has lived in many places since her family moved every two years. Her dad retired in Albuquerque and so she ended up in New Mexico. She became a nurse in 1982 and worked at UNM Hospital for a year in the Burn and Trauma Unit.

She went into the Army in 1983 as a military intelligence analyst specializing in Central and South America. Around this time she also started doing triathlons and did her first marathon in San Francisco in 1986. In 1988 she left the Army and went back to nursing at UNMH until 2006.

Following that she moved to Candy Kitchen, N.M. and lived off-grid for six years. She met her husband Mike on and moved to Los Alamos in 2012 to be with him. That same year she did her first ultra-marathon and started downhill skiing at the age of 50. She and Mike have four children.

Williams will show a PowerPoint presentation revolving around her desire to save animals and change the laws governing their treatment after they attack humans. She is working with House Dist. 43 Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard to get a bill passed, which will acknowledge the increased likelihood as humans encroach on more land of human/wildlife interactions that there will be more encounters such as hers.

Williams said she hopes we deal with the aftermath of these encounters more humanely for both the human and the wildlife.

To purchase a $10 lunch from the Co+op, call Karyl Ann Armbruster Saturday, Jan. 14, at 505.231.8286 or email her at for a complete list of menu choices. Ordering lunch is not necessary to attend William’s talk.