Black Bear Shot Dead After Attacking Oregon Man and His Dog

Wildlife officials in Oregon have killed a black bear believed to have attacked an elderly man and his dog.

The 72-year-old man was attacked at around 12.20 p.m. Sunday on private timberland west of Creswell near Camas Swale Road, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) said in a news release.

He was able to walk home with his dog after the attack before seeking medical attention. His wounds were treated and he was released from hospital, while his dog was treated by a vet. Both are expected to make a full recovery, officials said.

The man told Oregon State Police that he and his dog had hiked from his property to the grounds of an adjoining timber company.

"While walking a forest road, they encountered a bear in the road only 20 feet away. The dog barked and ran at the bear," the ODFW said.

"The bear knocked the dog down and was on the dog when the victim approached yelling and waving his arms in an attempt [to] scare the bear from the dog."

Black bear
Stock photo. Black bear. Getty

That's when the bear turned its attention to the man and charged at him, knocking him to the ground.

"The man fought back and after a short time, the bear left. The man and dog, both injured, hiked approximately one mile back to his residence before being transported to receive medical care," the ODFW said.

The man suffered lacerations and punctures on his forearm as well as lacerations to his torso and head, officials said.

He described the bear as mature, black in color with a "cream" colored muzzle. He said he didn't see any other bears at the scene of the attack.

The ODFW, Oregon State Police and USDA Wildlife Services responded after the Lane County Sheriff notified them of the incident.

"Fresh bear sign was located and Wildlife Services hounds gave a short chase before treeing a large, mature male bear with a light-colored muzzle," the ODFW said. The bear was shot and killed at approximately 5.30 p.m on Monday.

Brian Wolfer, the ODFW's South Willamette Watershed manager, said: "This was a very serious incident and the victim took the right steps by first trying to scare the bear off and then fighting back when he was attacked.

"We extend our well wishes to him and his family and hope for his speedy recovery."

Wolfer added that officials aren't certain the bear that was killed was the one that attacked the man.

"There is a very good chance that the bear that was killed is the one that injured the man, but this area is also good bear habitat and home to many bears," he said. "While we are not currently looking for another bear, the area will remain closed and trail cameras will be set up to see if there are other bears matching the description in the area."

The bear that was killed is being examined and tested for diseases, including rabies, which is common practice after an incident involving injury to a person, the ODFW said.

Officials added that most of the private timberlands in the area are closed to the public and wildlife managers will monitor the area for other bear activity.

According to the ODFW, bear attacks on humans are rare in Oregon. The attack on Sunday was only the fifth in the state since 1988, none of which have been fatal. The black bear population across the state is between 25,000 and 30,000.