Washington Woman Fights Off Mama Black Bear

By author of The Realblog with Stephanie Mallory

Wildlife officers euthanized the mother bear and took the cubs to a wildlife rehab facility

A bear that attacked and severely injured a Washington woman was euthanized and its cubs were taken to a rehab facility.

According to NBC News, the black bear attacked the woman, knocking her to the ground when she let her dog out of her Leavenworth home on the morning of Saturday, October 22.

According to the Chelan County Sheriff's Office, the woman, who has not been identified, was hospitalized with significant but non-life-threatening injuries.

Fish and Wildlife officers killed the bear later that morning in the same area

The department told NBC affiliate KING-TV of Seattle that the bear had likely been eating leftovers and trash because it was overweight.

State wildlife biologist Rich Beausoleil said the woman made the right move by fighting off the bear after it knocked her down.  

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"She didn't see it coming so she could not make herself big, clap her hands, you know, yell at the bear, wave her arms," Beausoleil told the station. "Those are the things we usually tell people to do."

He said if the bear knocks you down, then the solution is to fight.

"It was just instinct for her. She just turned around and popped it right in the nose."

He said, according to the woman, the bear "shook" and ran away.

Fish and Wildlife officials located two cubs and took them to a wildlife rehabilitation facility.

"Black bear mothers seldom attack people in defense of cubs," the U.S. Forest Service said in a primer on black bears. "Black bear mothers typically bluff or retreat."

In the agency’s statement, Fish and Wildlife Capt. Mike Jewell said officers had little choice but to kill the bear.

"Public safety is our priority," he said. "Our officers and staff were quick to mobilize to locate the animal and secure the scene."

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