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Bear shot dead after attacking 3 men in northern Minnesota

The 200-pound female bear set upon 2 construction workers and a homeowner.
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The Essentials

1. Three men were attacked by a 200-pound, female black bear on the shores of McDougal Lake, in Isabella, Minnesota on Tuesday morning, the Lake County Sheriff's Office said.

2. The bear initially went after 68-year-old homeowner Bill Vagts, before moving to another property where it attacked Daniel Boedker, 58, and Gary Jerich, 54, as they carried out construction work on a garage.

3. The bear was tracked down by DNR officers and sheriff's deputies, and was shot dead at 12:07 p.m.

What else you should know

Black bear attacks on humans are rare, with MPR reporting in June there had been just six in Minnesota in recorded history – none of which proved fatal.

And the Anchorage Daily News notes attacks tend to be carried out by lone, predatory male bears protecting their territory, rather than female bears protecting their cubs.

"This is highly unusual behavior for a wild animal that generally avoids contact with people," Cheri Zeppelin, of the DNR, told GoMN.

"A necropsy is being performed today to determine if there were any underlying health or neurological issues that would explain this behavior. Results may or may not provide further clues."

Vagts suffered a bite to the abdomen and some puncture wounds in the attack, while Boedker was bitten on the arm as he tried to save Jerich.

Capt. Tom Provost, a regional conservation officer for the Minnesota DNR, told the Star Tribune Vagts was injured after jumping on the bear's back as it attacked his dog.

He ultimately saved his dog's life, though Provost notes he took a "huge risk" doing this.

Authorities eventually found the bear about a hundred yards from where the attack happened, and it was shot dead.

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