A 34-year-old woman was going to check her mail in a rural part of Lafayette Township, New Jersey when she encountered three bears. One of the bears, estimated to be 150- to 200-pound and between a year and 2 years old, “charged and attacked” the woman, State Police Trooper Brandi Slota told the New Jersey Herald. The incident took place around 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 11 at the end of a farm lane on Gorney Road.
Fortunately, the woman, who has not been identified in news reports, escaped the bear attack without any life-threatening injuries. A neighbor scared the attacking bear and the other bears off by honking a car horn. The victim received treatment for injuries to her arm and buttocks at a local hospital before being released.
According to CBS New York, residents say that the area’s bear population has been on the rise since the state canceled bear hunting. Some wildlife experts believe that New Jersey has the densest black bear population in the nation.
Last week’s bear attack is at least the third bear-human conflict in New Jersey’s Sussex County this year. On January 3, a bear killed an English Spaniel and injured its 81-year-old owner. On January 19, a bear killed a corgi. Traps were set for bears in both instances but it’s unclear if any were successfully euthanized, according to the New Jersey Herald.
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Authorities are currently searching for the young bear involved in the recent attack. If captured, it would be euthanized under New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) Fish and Wildlife policy. In the meantime, the NJDEP maintains a “Bear Encounters” web page that advises residents on the best ways to stay safe if they encounter a bear.