Washington Officials Kill Black Bear That Attacked Woman While She Was Letting Her Dog Out

by Craig Garrett
A large male black bear walks along the edge of the forest - stock photo

Saturday, Washington authorities put down a black bear after it attacked and hurt a woman close to downtown’s Leavenworth park. On Saturday, October 22nd at around 7 a.m., the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) got word of an incident between a human and a black bear. This took place near Enchantment Park and Blackbird Island in Leavenworth, Chelan County.

The woman was taking her dog for a walk when an adult female bear attacked her, resulting in non-life-threatening injuries. The Department of Fish and Wildlife said she is currently receiving treatment at a hospital.”We are extremely thankful that the victim is receiving medical care from this unfortunate encounter,” said Captain Mike Jewell. “Public safety is our priority; our officers and staff were quick to mobilize to locate the animal and secure the scene.”

Karelian bear dogs are especially good at finding bears, which is why wildlife officers decided to use one. They found and killed a sow later that morning. They captured two 9-month-old cubs and took them to a wildlife rehabilitation center. The attack occurred near Enchantment Park, which contains ball fields and walking trails close to downtown Leavenworth. Leavenworth is located on the east side of the Cascade Mountains in central Washington.

The only recorded fatal black bear attack on a person in the state occurred in 1974, the department said. Since 1970, authorities have recorded 19 instances where black bears have injured people.

What authorities advise the public to do in a bear encounter

As curious animals, bears will often approach humans. If this happens to you, stand up and wave your arms above your head while speaking in a low voice so the bear knows you are not a threat. Back away slowly, making sure to avoid direct eye contact. Do not run from the bear as this may cause it to become aggressive. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife recommends carrying bear spray and making noise when hiking with pets to avoid surprising bears that might be nearby.

The National Park Service advises not to drop your pack and not to give the black bear any food. They also stress not to make direct eye contact. Another thing they suggest is to travel in groups. Finally, the NPS urges folks not to climb trees to escape wild animals. Black bears in particular are terrific climbers.

The NPS stresses that bear attacks are extremely rare. Most bears mind their own business if not antagonized by humans. However, they do have some tips in the event of an attack. Interestingly, they strongly urge people to not play dead with black bears. If you’re stuck in a bear attack, the NPS says the best bet is to get out of there as quickly as possible. They urge you to find a car or shelter if you can. If you aren’t able to flee, try to defend yourself with whatever is accessible. The NPS says to focus your blows on the bear’s face and muzzle.