Entries in Bear (7)


Washington Woman 'Stunned' When Bear Runs Into Her Car 

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(VANCOUVER, Wash.) -- A Washington woman was left "stunned" when a black bear ran out of the forest and hit her car, according to ABC affiliate KATU.

Marilyn Harker, of Vancouver, Wash., was driving her Honda Civic along an interstate highway when a bear suddenly ran onto the road and slammed its head into her front passenger door Wednesday afternoon, KATU reported.

"There was nothing I could do. I was just stunned. I just sat in my car," Harker told KATU.

The bear died before police arrived on the scene, according to KATU.

"I'd heard so many stories about animals that get hit and they roll and run off into the woods, and I was really hoping that would happen," Harker told KATU.

The animal was 3 to 5 years old and weighed 100 pounds, according to KATU.'s attempts to reach Harker directly were unsuccessful.

It is not unusual for bears and people to cross paths in the Pacific Northwest this time of year.
"During the month of June we get the most bear sightings," Craig Bartlett, a spokesman for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife told ABC News.

However, Bartlett added, "It is the first bear death caused by an automobile we've seen this year."
It is rare for bears to stray near interstate highways.

"When food is scarce, bears will occasionally venture out into populated areas, like residential communities. We call these bears 'nuisance bears,'" Bartlett said. "Bears are notoriously near-sighted. They don't have a good sense of their surroundings. But for a bear to wander so fatally close to a highway, that is unusual."

"As of June 6, our office has had approximately 192 reports of bear sightings," Bartlett said.
Last week, KATU reported, a Vancouver teenager shot video of a black bear running down a residential street and into a private backyard.

Earlier in the summer, a black bear evaded officials for weeks in the suburb of Camas, Ore., before it was tranquilized and relocated to a national forest, Bartlett told ABC News.

 Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Bear Cub Finds Arizona Home Just Right

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(SONOITA, Ariz.) -- A bear cub with a sweet tooth ravaged an Arizona kitchen.

The 30-pound cub broke in through the kitchen window of a home in Sonoita, Ariz., Thursday, and helped itself to a chocolate cake on the counter as well as jelly beans, chips and bread in the pantry.

The raid made the home’s owner, Phil Volk, think it was the work of his grandchildren, possibly up for a very early morning snack. When he went to check, instead of finding grandkids smeared in chocolate, he saw the bear, and the damage it had wrought.

“It pulled the lid off a chocolate cake on the counter and finished that off. It tipped the trash and went through the contents of that,” Volk told the Arizona Daily Star.  “It [the kitchen] was total disarray. He ate very well.”

Volk and his wife called 911 and the Arizona Game and Fish Department sent an officer to their home.  By the time the officer arrived, the bear, who did not attack any humans during his food attack, had made its way into a bedroom.

The wildlife official tranquilized the bear and removed it from the home, a department spokeswoman told the Daily Star.

Instead of returning the bear to the wild, however, wildlife officials sent it to the Heritage Park Zoo in Prescott, Ariz., nearly 260 miles away.

Officials told the Daily Star the bear had likely been abandoned by its mother and was too young to return to the wild.


Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Arizona Bear Attacks Up to Three in a Month

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(PAYSON, Ariz.) -- The Tempe, Ariz., man who was injured during a rare bear attack in the Tonto National Forest over the weekend is in critical condition after the state’s third such incident in a month.

Peter Baca, 30, was airlifted Sunday morning to a Scottsdale hospital after the bear smashed his forehead and left large lacerations and bite wounds on the man’s legs and arm, officials said.

“He had a large spot on the right side of his head that was just a mess, but he was alert and talking, which was amazing,” said Carly Stoltenberg, who was camping nearby when the bear attack happened.

The attack at the Ponderosa Campground was the third incident in the area involving a bear within the past month, according to the Arizona Fish and Game Department, which explained that the bears are most likely drawn to garbage and the scent of food.

The first attack was on May 31 when a bear entered a woman’s tent, also at Ponderosa Campground, and clawed her.

A bear also entered an unfinished cabin on June 21 near Tonto Village, which is about 2.5 miles away from Ponderosa Campground, and bit a sleeping man on his leg.

Neither suffered life-threatening injuries, but Baca, the victim of Sunday’s attack, wasn’t nearly as fortunate.  The man’s fiancée and a 1-year-old child were able to escape unharmed and warn other campers in the area.

Camper Stoltenberg said her husband and another man grabbed their guns and tried luring the bear away from the campsite.  They didn’t want to fire at the bear because the area was so crowded and they feared that shooting would only anger the bear.

The men led the bear away, but it started walking toward them and they fired several shots.  But they don’t think any of the shots hit the bear.

After being chased away, the bear walked to the campground where it attacked the Tempe man.

Baca’s life was possibly saved by an off-duty EMT who just happened to be camping nearby.  The EMT had a bag full of medical supplies and was able to wrap Baca’s wounds and give him an IV.

“There was blood everywhere and the campsite was a mess, but that man saved his [Baca's] life.  I definitely don’t think he would still be alive if he wasn’t there,” Stoltenberg said.

Although two bears were tracked and killed by rangers on Monday, state officials are still unsure whether either of the bears was responsible for Sunday’s incident.

“We won’t know if these were the same bears until lab results come back,” Tim Holt of the Arizona Game and Fish Department said.  “At this time, we are not willing to speculate on that.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Bear Disrupts California School Graduation

Kim Rodriguez/Kern County Animal Control(BAKERSFIELD, Calif.) -- A black bear that disrupted a California school graduation Thursday has been released back into the wild, authorities said.

The 200-pound black bear was seen roaming the grounds near Ramon Garza Elementary School in Bakersfield, Calif. Kern County Animal Control officials used a Taser to subdue the bear.

A teacher noticed the bear and then alerted officials, ABC News affiliate KERO reported. A graduation ceremony was taking place at the time, according to the station.

Callers to 911 reported that the bear moved through the school’s campus parking lot before approaching a nearby apartment complex.

The school was later locked down.

Officials said it took about 30 minutes for animal control workers to get hold of the bear and that no one was injured during the incident, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Bear Camps on Hospital Wall

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(ASHEVILLE, N.C.) -- A bear was evaluated before being sent back to the woods Saturday after it was captured on the wall of an Asheville, N.C., hospital.

The 50-lb bear hopped up on the wall of the Mission Hospital Cancer Center Friday morning and quickly drew a crowd of gawkers. The bear didn’t seem to mind the attention, curling up and sleeping through part of the day. It also ignored pastries set out to lure the bear off the wall for capture.

The bear was finally snagged Friday evening and was held for examination before being released back in the wild.

It was the third bear sighting in the city this week, but it wasn’t clear if there were several bears that have been seen or if the bear caught Friday was a repeat offender.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Alaska Woman Punches Black Bear in Nose to Save Dog

Design Pics/Philippe Widling/ Thinkstock(JUNEAU, Alaska) -- Brooke Collins let her animal instincts take over last week when she lunged at a black bear that had scooped up her dog and popped it on the nose.

"I was screaming to startle the bear and ran up to it thinking if I got close to it, it would run off, but I got within inches and it still wouldn't go, so I punched it in the nose," Collins said.

Collins, 22, of Juneau, Alaska, had just let her two dogs out to play in her backyard Sunday evening when she began to hear frantic barking.  A black bear that had been seen in the neighborhood recently -- especially on trash pick-up days -- had scooped up her daschshund, Fudge, in its paws, and had it pinned to the ground, she said.

"I remembered hearing that if you punch a shark in the nose it'll go away, and so I punched it in the nose," she said.  "I love my dog.  Nobody could watch their pet die."

She scooped up Fudge, who is 12, and ran inside, but not before the frantic dog bit her on the chin and the bear cut her finger.

"I don't know whether it was the claw or a tooth or what, it just happened so fast," she said.

Collins' boyfriend said the bear was shaking its head, seemingly shocked, after the confrontation.  He then chased it off into the woods, she said.

Friends and family told Collins she was crazy for confronting the bear, but she said others have left her Facebook messages saying her actions to save her dog were heroic.  Fudge is also receiving post-attack attention.  Collins says she's been treating it to bacon and sausages as it recovers from the ordeal.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Missing Dog Mystery: Terrier Found 2 Days Later, 700 Miles Away

Photo Courtesy - KXTV Sacramento, Calif.(TACOMA, Wash.) -- The owner of a missing Patterdale Terrier is making a long road trip this weekend – from Rio Linda, Calif., to Tacoma, Wash. – to pick up his dog who went missing earlier this week, only to turn up two days later nearly 700 miles away.

When Brian Rapozo got word that his dog had been found, Marguerite Richmond of the Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County said the man was excited, but shocked at just how far away his dog had traveled.

“We said 'Well, he's at the shelter in Tacoma,' and he's like 'Tacoma? Tacoma, where?'”

The dog, named Bear, had no identification tag; it was identified by a microchip embedded under its skin.

“He was just really shocked to find out the dog was about 700 miles away,” Richmond said. “He had just lost the dog on Tuesday, and the dog came in on Thursday.”

How the terrier made such a long trip in such a short amount of time is -- for now -- a mystery.

“There's always a possibility it was stolen,” Richmond said. “But you never know.  Sometimes these dogs jump into somebody's cab, or they stow away in a car, and then somehow lose their collar.”

The lesson, Richmond says, is for every owner to have their pets “chipped.”

“It’s really a good safety measure for owners who really care about their pets, because any dog can lose a collar. If they have a microchip…you can't remove a microchip, and that will always find you.”

Bear and its owner were scheduled to be reunited on Saturday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio