Woman in hospital after being mauled by bear while checking her mail

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Friday, May 13, 2022
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Police say the bear charged and attacked the woman, lleaving wounds on her right arm and along the right side of her body.

LAFAYETTE, New Jersey (WABC) -- A woman is in the hospital after being attacked by a bear near her home in New Jersey Wednesday afternoon.

The 33-year-old woman was walking along Gorney Road in Lafayette around 4:30 p.m. to check her mail when she saw a few black bears, according to police.

That's when one of the bears charged and attacked her, leaving wounds on her right arm and along the right side of her body.

The bear involved is believed to be between 150 to 200 pounds.

EMS transported the woman to a nearby hospital for treatment and has since been released.

The New Jersey Fish and Wildlife staff was notified of the incident and have set up traps in the area.

If caught the bear will be euthanized per New Jersey Fish and Wildlife policies.

The DEP reminds the public that while bear attacks on people are extremely rare, these are large, powerful wild animals, and interactions with them must be avoided for public safety and the well-being of the animals.

The DEP reminds the public of the following steps they can take to reduce the risk of encounters with black bears:

--Never feed or approach a bear.

--Remain calm if you encounter a bear. Do not run from it.

--Make the bear aware of your presence by speaking in an assertive voice, singing, clapping your hands, or making other noises.

--Make sure the bear has an escape route.

--If a bear enters your home, provide it with an escape route by propping all doors open.

--Avoid direct eye contact, which may be perceived by a bear as a challenge. Never run from a bear. Instead, slowly back away.

--To scare the bear away, make loud noises by yelling, banging pots and pans, or using an airhorn. Make yourself look as big as possible by waving your arms. If you are with someone else, stand close together with your arms raised above your head.

--The bear may utter a series of huffs, make popping jaw sounds by snapping its jaws and swat the ground. These are warning signs that you are too close. Slowly back away, avoid direct eye contact, and do not run.

--If a bear stands on its hind legs or moves closer, it may be trying to get a better view or detect scents in the air. It is usually not a threatening behavior.

--Black bears will sometimes "bluff charge" when cornered, threatened, or attempting to steal food. Stand your ground, avoid direct eye contact, then slowly back away and do not run.

--If the bear does not leave, move to a secure area.

--Report black bear damage or nuisance behavior to the DEP's 24-hour, toll-free hotline at 1-877-WARN DEP (1-877-927-6337).

--Families who live in areas frequented by black bears should have a "Bear Plan" in place for children, with an escape route and planned use of whistles and air horns.

--Use certified bear-resistant garbage containers and keep the container outdoors if you live in an area frequented by black bears. Certified bear-resistant trash containers have passed a formal testing procedure and are proven to keep bears out. Certified containers offer the best protection.

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