Bear attacks 72-year-old woman in northern Minnesota

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A 190-pound black bear attacked a woman outside her house near McGregor in northern Minnesota, the Department of Natural Resources said Wednesday.

A conservation officer later killed the female bear after it also charged the officer, the DNR said.

“Like any wild animal, bears can be unpredictable,” said Rodmen Smith, acting director of the DNR’s Division of Enforcement said. “This situation was clearly unusual bear behavior and presented a public safety risk.” The bear was taken to the University of Minnesota in St. Paul for necropsy.

The DNR says the woman had seen the bear before on her property, so she checked to see that it was not around before she let her dog out. She didn't see any bears, but the dog saw the bear's three cubs and gave chase, the DNR says. The woman went out to yell for the dog to return, and the bear charged her, clawing her and knocking her to the ground. It bit her on the arm and leg and then left the woman's property with the cubs.

The woman's injuries were serious but she is expected to survive.

The conservation officer encountered the bear nearby and shot it a short time later. The DNR says the cubs, which appeared healthy and would naturally become independent of their mother by early June, were left in the area.

Black bears typically are not aggressive and attacks on people are rare, the DNR reports. The agency has documented only four other bear attacks on people involving serious injuries in the state since 1987, and none were fatal.

Here's the DNR's news release about the incident.

The DNR has more info here about human interaction with black bears.

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