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Bear attack in Eastern PA

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Bear attack in Eastern PA

Old 05-03-2005, 01:45 PM
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Default Bear attack in Eastern PA

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Old 05-04-2005, 09:55 AM
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Default RE: Bear attack in Eastern PA

I read about this in the local paper. It seems that some campers were camping in a non-camping area and a bear came after some food they had stored there. The bear attacked the woman while one of the other campers went for help. Though it sounds like the woman went through alot I am sure it could have been worse.

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Old 05-05-2005, 11:53 AM
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Default RE: Bear attack in Eastern PA

I feel bad for the poor bear. The people were camping in a no camping area, didn't properly secure their food as responsible people do in bear country and as a result the bear gets a bad rep. Don't get me wrong, I don't want the lady to get hurt but they should be held to account for for not heading to the signs.

Just my $0.02 though. I'm glad she's alright.
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Old 05-05-2005, 01:26 PM
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Default RE: Bear attack in Eastern PA

My guess is that cubs were involved. Springtime in the woods between her mother and her cubs is NO place you want to be. I have never heard of a black bear attacking over food.
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Old 05-05-2005, 02:22 PM
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Default RE: Bear attack in Eastern PA

Glad to see you guys share the same feelings that I do.

Contrary to what many people think, Black Bears arent normally dangerous, and more often than not, a bear gets into trouble because people are irresponsible.

This seems to be the case here, but only to an extent. This bear does seem to be a problem and exhibits the behavior of a predator. Just going by what I read and saw on the news, the bear attacked her as she lay on the ground, and tried to drag her away, finally trying to paw out a shallow hole and cover her in it. That is NOT the work of a mother defending cubs. Mothers with cubs may swat at you, or bluff charge, etc., but they have no intention of eating you, only scaring you away from their young. This bear had food on its mind, and was intending to cache her for future consumption. (assuming her story is true)

Ive startled a mother with cubs and the first thing she did was tree the cubs and pop her jaw and swat the ground. That was enough of a warning for me. I slowly backed out of the area and watched from afar. The sow called her cubs out of the tree and ran off to safety with them in tow.

Well, Im glad the girl wasnt injured any worse in this situation, and maybe this can serve as a lesson for all the people who dont take bear precautions seriously. While bears dont normally pose a threat to us, they are a large and powerful animal that can easily injure or kill you. Treat them with respect.
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Old 05-05-2005, 02:45 PM
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Default RE: Bear attack in Eastern PA

By Christian Berg
Of The Morning Call

There are rules for keeping safe in bear country, and the campers involved in Saturday's harrowing black bear encounter at Hickory Run State Park broke just about all of them.

''They did everything wrong,'' said Fred Merluzzi, the Pennsylvania Game Commission's wildlife conservation officer for Carbon County. ''They came to bear country, and they came to bear country ill-prepared.''

Kathleen Feeney, 21, Brian Scollon, 19, and Robert Brennan, 21, all of Philadelphia, saw a black bear at their campsite about 7:30 p.m. Saturday and took off running through the woods.

The bear followed, captured Feeney, tore off her clothes and covered her with brush ‚ÄĒ a tactic sometimes used to hide food stashes. Although the bear eventually left, Feeney suffered some nasty scratches on her back, a possible bite to the head and a puncture wound in one leg.

Such incidents are extremely rare in Pennsylvania. A black bear has never killed anyone in the state, and fewer than 30 bear attacks have occurred in 30 years, commission spokesman Jerry Feaser said. It was the first such incident at Hickory Run, park officials said.

The last bear attack in Pennsylvania is believed to have occurred in June in Susquehanna County, in which a 43-year-old woman suffered multiple bite and claw wounds after being attacked by a bear in her back yard. In that case, commission officials believe the bear might have had a nearby cub it was trying to protect, which Feaser said is typical of bear encounters in which serious injuries occur.

Saturday's incident at Hickory Run did not result in severe injuries, but it serves as a frightening reminder of what can happen when humans and bears clash.

Commission officials say one of the campers' biggest mistakes was running away, which likely triggered the bear's predatory instinct to chase prey.

''They had no idea what to do,'' said Merluzzi, who is conducting the agency's investigation into the incident. ''The way I am looking at it, their response…is the direct cause of what happened.''

Instead of running, those who encounter bears should raise their arms above their heads, make themselves appear as big as possible and slowly back away from the area.

''Don't turn your back,'' said Mark Ternent, the commission's black bear biologist. ''Always keep your eye on the bear so you know what's going on.''

While it's a good idea to keep an eye on the bear, avoid making direct eye contact, which the bear may interpret as a challenge.

Running from the bear was one in a series of poor decisions made by the trio, Merluzzi said. Feeney, Scollon and Brennan arrived at Hickory Run about 2 p.m. Saturday and set up their tent in a no-camping area near Hawk Falls, a popular spot off Route 534 near Albrightsville. Merluzzi said the area is not routinely patrolled by park rangers and has a well-worn bear trail through the mountain laurel.

''It's a very apparent trail,'' he said. ''Why do you think they don't allow camping down there?''

The trio said they were returning from fishing in Mud Run, a nearby trout stream, when the encounter began. Feeney arrived at the campsite first, saw the bear and raced back toward Scollon and Brennan, with the bear in hot pursuit.

Merluzzi said the bear probably wouldn't have been there in the first place if the three hadn't left food out in the open. ''It appears they had some Spaghettios earlier, and that was not covered,'' he said. ''Their actions drew the bear into that area.''

Those hiking or camping in bear country should store food in the trunk of their cars or hang it high in a tree where a bear can't reach it. Food should never be left in the open or stored in sleeping areas.

Officials said the campers also made a mistake in not staying together. After running from the bear and wading across Mud Run, Brennan tried to get help by climbing a steep embankment to the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Feeney and Scollon, meanwhile, hid behind a large tree.

''Stay together,'' Ternent said. ''You are more intimidating as a unit than you are as three independent people.''

Merluzzi said Feeney and Scollon also crawled around in the thick laurel that dominates the area. ''At that point, they made themselves smaller than the bear,'' he said. ''A bear's prey items, which include deer, are smaller and are on all fours.''
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Old 05-06-2005, 05:17 AM
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Default RE: Bear attack in Eastern PA

The bear followed, captured Feeney, tore off her clothes and covered her with brush
Great! I'll be on the look-out for a pervert bear!
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Old 05-06-2005, 11:45 AM
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Default RE: Bear attack in Eastern PA

Thanks for posting the article Lost Horn. I'm glad to see the PGC is advocating for the bear.

I wonder if they'd caught and handled trout before the "attack". I learned in Alaska to keep your hands very, very clean after handeling fish. You might be sound asleep in your sleeping bag with your food stored as it should be and still be eaten because you smell like fish. This girl is very lucky we don't have grizzlies in PA. 4" claws would have done more then tore her clothes off
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Old 05-08-2005, 10:28 PM
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Default RE: Bear attack in Eastern PA

I think any type of attack, regardless if the people involved failed to read signs or not, is scary and dangerous. Yeah i agree that the people weren't in the right for camping in a no camping zone but i'm glad none were killed.
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