National News

Bear euthanized after attacking woman in Simsbury

Posted June 8

— A woman was scratched by a bear while she was walking her dog in a park in Simsbury on Wednesday afternoon, police said.

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Environmental Conservation Police said they were called to report of an incident involving a bear and woman at the Town Forest Park just before 2 p.m.

The unidentified 41-year-old woman told police she was walking her black Labrador Retriever near the baseball field when she turned a corner and encountered the bear, DEEP spokesman said.

DEEP spokesman said the woman went to turn away, but that's when the animal "took a swipe at her." The woman's clothes were ripped and she "had scratches on the back side of her upper legs," DEEP said.

She was about 7 feet from the bear initially, police said.

"The woman said she shouted to try and scare the bear off, and when the bear did not move, she turned to get away from it. At that point, she said, the bear approached her and swiped at her," DEEP spokesman said.

Police called the woman's injuries minor and said she didn't require any medical attention.

The dog was uninjured, DEEP said.

Officials from DEEP said the woman did everything right, by trying to scare off the bear.

The bear ran off after the incident, but was located a short time later near the area of the encounter and euthanize it.

Officials said once the bear shows aggressive behavior, it needs to be euthanized.

The woman told DEEP that she did not see cubs with the bear. DEEP said the sow had two six-month-old cubs traveling with her and they "are mature enough to survive on their own."

According to DEEP, Simsbury had 291 reported bear sightings from June 2016 to June 2017.

The area is popular for bears, and on Wednesday, Eyewitness News crews even spotted a bear when they were at the scene. It wasn't the bear who scratched the woman.

DEEP officials said it is rare to have any type of bear attack. If you leave the bear alone, they will do the same.

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