Bear Attacks 2010

In the East, a rising black bear population combined with urban sprawl has contributed to an increase in bear-human conflicts. In the West, grizzly attacks dominated the headlines all summer long and the attacks continued into the fall. Read through the attacks that happened so far this year and stay safe when you take to the woods. Photo: xinem
June 17
Erwin Frank Evert, a field botanist, was killed by a grizzly while hiking in the Kitty Creek Drainage area of the Shoshone National Forest, near Yellowstone National Park. The bear that mauled Evert was captured and tranquilized just hours before by a grizzly research team. Evert was aware that bears were being captured in the area, but hiked the trail anyway in hopes of catching up with the scientists to see what they were up to. The bear was eventually trapped and killed by authorities.
June 27
A woman fought off a black bear that attacked her in the early morning hours while she was camping. The woman awoke to find a bear pawing at her tent. The bear grabbed the woman and drug her out of the tent. Game Wardens say the bear was going after food in the tent. But the woman punched the bear in the nose and was able to scramble onto the top of her car and escape further injury. Read more here. Photo: Alan Vernon
June 27
In the first recorded bear attack in Kentucky history, Timothy Scott was charged by a 150-pound black bear while hiking in Daniel Boone National forest. Scott, 56, was hiking ahead of his wife and son when he spotted the bear about 25 feet away, but it soon disappeared behind a rock ledge. Scott started to call his wife to have her take a different trail when the bear reappeared and charged. Scott yelled and tried to scare off the animal, but the bear continued its approach. He hit the bear with a stick and tried to scramble away, but the bear "lunged forward and grabbed me a bit but let me go" he told the Associated Press. Scott tried to dodge around trees but the bear was too quick. It grabbed Scott's leg, threw him into the woods and then chomped down into his thigh. Scott then went for his pocketknife hoping to gauge the bear in the eye. "The bear had a really good chunk of my leg in his mouth and was shaking me," Scott told the Associated Press. "He was trying to subdue me, and he was focused on nothing but doing that." Luckily a few other hikers spotted the attack and joined in on the brawl. One hiker threw his daypack at the bear knocking it off of Scott. The other hikers and Scott retreated back down the trail, with the bear stalking close behind. Scott was picked up by an ambulance at the trailhead and received more than 50 stitches. He made a full recovery. Read more here.
July 2
A 200-pound bear attacked a camper at an El Dorado County campground in California. A couple woke up in their tent to find a bear raiding their cooler. The man had a handgun and tried to scare the bear away, but instead of running off, the bear charged, knocked the man to the ground and gashed him in the face. That's when the man shot at the bear and scared it off. He ended up needing 26 stitches to his face. Read more here. Photo: tuchodi
July 25
Jack Hanna, a television personality and the director of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, was hiking with his wife in Glacier National Park when he stumbled upon three grizzly bears. They talked loudly and backpedaled down the trail with the grizzlies following close behind when they eventually ran into five more hikers, including a man and his 10-year-old son. The group backed their way into a rocky clearing off of the trail and two of the bears walked by. But one of the cubs remained on the trail and stared down the hikers, then it charged. Luckily Hanna was packing bear spray. "The animal starts coming for us, and I can't judge, because it happened so fast, 20 to 30 feet. I unloaded a blast of pepper spray, that was too far, I should have known better, but when a bear is coming to you, you only have four puffs, so I puffed the one and he still is coming and the wind took it," Hanna told channel 10 news in Ohio. "I unloaded it about 20 feet, maybe 15 feet, real close to that, and the bear shakes its head. Then, 10 feet, it happened in seconds, and looking (at the bear) right in the face, and then bam! I unloaded the whole can in his face and the bear starts going back toward its mom and other baby. And at that point I said, 'Oh, Thank God.'"
July 28
Kevin Kammer was killed by a grizzlies while sleeping in his tent at Soda Butte Campground in the Gallatin National Forest. A mother bear and her two cubs drug Kammer out of his tent and then attacked two other tents in separate campsites. Two people were injured but survived the attacks. The mother grizzly bear was eventually trapped, and euthanized and her cubs were sent to a zoo.
Aug. 20
Brent Kandra was a caretaker for a black bear that had been part of a bear exhibit in Ohio. On August 20. the bear was out of its cage feeding and unexpectedly attacked Kandra who died from his injuries. Photo: Mila Zinkova
Sept. 7
Kim Collier of Defuniak Springs Florida returned home from an overnight trip to find her Red Heeler Australian cattle dog badly injured. The dog had been mauled by a bear and had 50 puncture wounds to its back and legs. Amazingly, the dog had survived the attack. Just days before the Colliers found another dog dead behind their home and suspect it was killed by a bear. Bear attacks in Florida are extremely rare. Read more here. Photo: Eva Holderegger
Sept. 8
A lone Canadian logger was assessing timber in British Columbia last week when he suddenly found himself faced by a charging black bear. Armed with neither pepper spray nor a sidearm, Jesse Mengler had to think fast. He reached to the ground, grabbed a softball-sized rock and reverted to the skills he once used as a baseball pitcher. "...He's ten feet away. I reached back and just threw the rock and struck it right between the eyes," Mengler later recalled. "It was like I shot it. Knocked it right out!" Photo: http://www.cbc.ca/
Sept. 10
Dustin Flack was elk hunting in Montana when he was approached by a mother grizzly and her cubs. Flack tried to scale a tree to escape the bear, but it pulled him down from the tree and sunk its teeth into his foot and calf. When Flack hit the ground he went into the fetal position and the bear eventually left him alone. Wildlife officials think the bears may have been feeding on elk carcasses nearby. Photo: Alaskan Dude
Sept. 15
Ryan Shepard, an experienced hunting guide, was hunting with some friends and their dogs in Maine when a big bear they were chasing doubled back and charged. It went after Shepard who was able to fire two shots from his .30-06 before the bear got to him, biting him in the leg and arm. "It was all kind of a blur at that point," Shepard told the Bangor Daily News. "It felt like 10 minutes, but I guess it was only a few minutes." Shepard survived the attack and was treated at a local hospital. The bear eventually died from Shepard's shooting. Read more here. Photo: Hbarrison
Sept. 17
John Chelminiak, a city councilman from Washington state, was walking his dog when he was mauled by a black bear just yards from his home. Chelminiak's wife heard the struggle and called the authorities who eventually came to his aid. He survived the attack but was badly mauled in his face and head. The bear was later tracked down by authorities and killed. Read more here. Photo: Chascar
Sept. 17
Kim Wunderlich was bow hunting with a partner when they stumbled upon a female grizzly with two cubs in the southern Gravelly Mountains in Montana. The bear charged Wunderlich, knocked him down and bit him once in the leg. But after that the bear and her two cubs ran off. wunderlich was taken to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries. Read more here. Photo: diliff
Sept. 23
A Montana woman scared off a charging black bear by hitting in on the head with a large zucchini. Just after midnight the 200-pound bear attacked the woman's dog and she tried to scare it off by kicking it beneath the chin. The bear swiped at the woman's leg but she pelted the bear on the head with a 14-inch zucchini and the bruin fled. Read more here.
Oct. 7
A man whose name was not released was attacked by a grizzly bear while hunting near Jim Mountain in Wyoming. The man was able to shoot and kill the grizzly but not before it chomped into his arm. After the bear ran off, the hunter walked out three miles to the trailhead and drove himself to a Cody, WY hospital where he was treated and released. Photo: xinem
Oct. 13
A Pennsylvania man was elk hunting in Wyoming when he was mauled by a grizzly bear. The bear ambushed him and bit him in the face, head and arm. The man shot at the grizzly to defend himself, but the bear was never found. The hunter survived the attack but needed surgery to repair broken bones in his face. Photo: ilashdesigns
Oct. 27
A man was hunting by himself around the upper South Fork of the Shoshone River when he was jumped by a mother grizzly with two cubs. The deer hunter was able to squeeze off a shot and kill the bear, but not before it bit him several times in the thigh. The hunter was able to walk a short distance out to where other hunters and an ambulance were waiting. He was treated at a hospital and released. Photo: ilashdesigns
Oct. 26
Scott Oberlinter was deer hunting blacktail deer on the Afognak Island in Alaska with his hunting buddy when they were charged by a 700-pound brown bear. Both men shot the bear when it was at 20 feet, but the bear kept coming. It pounced on Oberlinter biting him in the legs and hip. Oberlinter's quick-thinking hunting partner was able to reload and kill the bear. Oberlinter survived the attack but suffered broken ribs and several puncture wounds. Photo: Alaska Dispatch
Nov. 2
A 12-year-old Alaskan boy was walking by himself in the dark to the bus stop when he was pounced on by a grizzly. At first the boy screamed and tried to escape the bear, but then he regained his composure and played dead. The bear ripped at the kid's backpack but eventually ran off leaving the boy with only a few minor injuries. Read more here. Photo: leander
Nov. 8
A woman was walking her dog near an undeveloped subdivision in Washington state when she stumbled upon a bear walking along the side of the road. The woman's dog ran after the bear, and the bear wheeled and attacked the woman. The bear mauled her and then ran off. The woman was eventually found by another dog walker and was taken to the hospital. She survived the attack and was eventually released from the hospital. Photo: Rick Cooper

Bear problems are up in several regions around the country. Keep track of all the attacks that have happened in 2010, there may be more than you think.