Officials in Connecticut are investigating after a black bear bit a woman walking her dog on Friday morning.
The unidentified woman was walking in Avon, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) officials said at a news conference Friday afternoon. She returned home after she was bit and called for help. She declined medical attention on the scene and went to a hospital for treatment, DEEP said.
The woman sustained minor puncture wounds and superficial injuries. According to a DEEP press statement, the bear was humanely euthanized at the site, as is standard procedure when a black bear attacks a human.
“Public safety is the DEEP’s top priority in these situations,” the organization stated. “An attack on a human is a category 4 response under DEEP’s Black Bear Response protocol, implying humane euthanasia of the bear.”
DEEP said in the press release and in an annual State of the Bears report that interactions between humans and bears are rising. That trend continues this year, and DEEP employees responded to “multiple reports of bear-home entries” earlier in the week. Another bear, in Salisbury, Connecticut, was euthanized after entering multiple homes.
The state of Connecticut emphasizes that bears are not a significant threat to humans in a list of frequently asked questions about how to be safe near bears. To protect themselves, their owners, and wildlife, anyone walking dogs should keep them on a tight leash and not let them run free.
According to a list of Do’s and Don’ts provided by the town of Avon, a roaming dog might be perceived as a threat to a bear or its cubs.
Several people have been attacked while walking their dogs outside. In September 2022, a woman in southern Oregon was attacked in her backyard. She was injured, but she and her dog were able to chase the bear away.
A similar event occurred in August 2022, when a 61-year-old woman was attacked while walking her two dogs, a terrier, and a Labradoodle. She had a leg injury, but the terrier yelled at the dog, distracting it and allowing her and the dogs to flee.