A black bear attacked a woman in Minnesota, seriously injuring her, state officials said Saturday.
The woman was staying at a cabin near Gull Lake when she let her dog outside early Friday, the state’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said in a release. She went out to check on her dog and was attacked. The bear swiped at the woman, “striking her in several places,” then left the area, the DNR said.
The woman was taken to a hospital for treatment and has since been released.
There were no reports of bear activity in the area before the attack, authorities said. Wildlife officials believe the bear was startled by the woman’s dog and attacked the woman as a way to defend itself.
“Dogs and bears don’t mix,” according to a department advisory. “Letting dogs chase, lunge or bark at bears is asking for trouble – don’t force a bear to defend itself.”
Officers with the DNR are monitoring the area for bears that could pose a threat to public safety, officials said.
This was the 10th bear attack involving serious injuries to a human that the state’s DNR has documented since 1987, according to the department. None of the victims have died.
In Pennsylvania last week, a black bear attacked two young children who were playing in their driveway outside of their home, officials said. The children sustained non-life-threatening injuries.
While black bears are rarely aggressive, Minnesota’s DNR advised people to remove sources of food outside their homes to avoid attracting bears to their property. If you see a bear before it notices you, allow the bear an escape route. Stand still, then quietly move away. If a bear spots you, back away slowly. Running could trigger a chase response. If a bear approaches you, hold your ground, wave your arms and yell until it leaves. Use bear spray if the bear keeps approaching.
If a black bear makes contact, do not play dead, the DNR advised. Fight back aggressively.