71-year-old woman encounters bear inside her kitchen, suffers injuries to her face and head

The wheelchair-bound woman suffered injuries to her face and head.

A 71-year-old woman suffered severe injuries to her face and head when she encountered a bear that entered her home in Groton, New Hampshire, early Tuesday morning.

The woman, Apryl Rogers, is wheelchair-bound and came across the bear in her kitchen after it entered through an open screen door, Col. Kevin Jordan, New Hampshire Fish and Game Department's Chief of Law Enforcement, told ABC News.

"After the bear entered the house, the door shut behind it, leaving it trapped inside," he said.

Rogers accidentally blocked the bear's exit. In an effort to get out, the bear lashed out in a panic, causing lacerations to the woman's head and neck, police said.

She is currently in surgery, but her injuries do not appear to be life-threatening, officials told ABC News.

After the encounter, the bear escaped the home by smashing through a window.

Fish and Game Department officials are trying to track down the bear and have deployed K-9 units, but rain during the day eliminated the bear's tracks and washed away its scent, hindering the search and making it difficult for authorities to tell which bear was involved in the attack. If found and identified, the bear will have to be put down, authorities said.

Bear encounters have increased in the area recently due to human encroachment on their territory, Col. Jordan told ABC News. The bears are attracted to sources of food in human dwellings.

However, he said, attacks by bears on humans are very rare.