VT Woman Hurt By Bear On Deck

Vermont FWD, Bear Hunting Magazine
06/06/2011

The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department wants to remind everyone that feeding wild animals can create a dangerous situation. This recently happened when a woman who had fed bears in the past was injured by a bear at her home in Cabot, VT at the end of May.

The Vermont FWD stated that the woman attempted to scare a bear and cubs off her deck and it looks like the woman may have came between the bear and the cubs. The bear attacked the woman, injuring her leg, which resulted in a trip to a local hospital.

This incident helps to remind everyone to stop feeding birds during spring, summer and fall and to never purposely feed bears. The woman had been previously warned by a Vermont State Game Warden to stop purposely feeding bears and to not feed birds because of bears being attracted to this easy source of food. The Vermont FWD believes the bear acted naturally in trying to protect her cubs, and have no plans to destroy it.

"We are receiving reports from all over the state of bears seeking food at bird feeders, bee hives, chicken coops and other sources," said State Wildlife Biologist Forrest Hammond. "People can help by removing any food sources that may tempt the bears."

"Bears are smart and are easily attracted to birdfeeders and then gradually lose their fear of people to the point that they begin going from house to house looking for more goodies," added Hammond. "It doesn't take long before a bear gets so comfortable around people that it loses its natural wariness and causes property damage or begins to be seen as a potential threat to people in surprise encounters. When the department has to choose between the safety of people and the safety of bears, bears will always lose...above all, never purposely leave food out for bears or any other wildlife."

Although not a common occurrence, there have been other incidents in New York and New Hampshire already this spring in which people were also injured by bears that lost their fear of people while finding food near homes where they had been intentionally fed.

Vermont law prohibits a person from killing a bear that has been attracted to any artificial bait or food such as bird seed. The fine for doing so can be as high as $1,000.



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