Survival Animal Attacks

Wisconsin Couple Fends off Bear Attack in Their Own Home Using a Kitchen Knife

The husband eventually shot and killed the bear while their children slept through the attack
black bear on bird feeder Maryland DNR

After she was caught pillaging the backyard bird feeder, the black bear sow came in hot through the kitchen window. Maryland Department of Natural Resources

A Wisconsin couple and their young children are lucky to be alive following a black bear attack that occurred inside their home in Medford last Friday. The husband and wife, who have not been identified by authorities, sustained multiple injuries but were able to defend themselves with a kitchen knife. The husband was eventually able to shoot and kill the bear with a firearm, all while their children remained asleep in their bedrooms, according to USA Today.

Black bears are notorious for ransacking bird feeders, and most will slink away when they encounter humans. But this particular bruin had the exact opposite reaction when it was caught red-handed at the Medford couple’s backyard bird feeder late in the evening of May 20. When the husband and wife yelled at the bear to go away, it charged through the window and attacked them inside their own kitchen.  

“The bear immediately turned and charged at the house, breaking through the window and into the house and immediately attacked,” according to a report by the Taylor County Sheriff’s Office, which was first notified of the attack at 11:11 p.m. that night.

The husband and wife were bitten multiple times by the bear before the husband got ahold of his gun and shot the animal, killing it, according to USA Today. The Sheriff’s Office would not specify what kind of gun was used in the altercation, and declined to offer additional information surrounding the incident.

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The couple was treated for their injuries—none of which were life-threatening—and they have since been released from the hospital, Fox 9 News reports. The children were unharmed, as they slept through the attack in their bedrooms, completely unaware that an angry sow was in the kitchen.

Upon collection of the carcass, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources identified the bear as an adult female. Additional reports say that a cub was “seen running off as the bear ran toward the home,” according to CBS News.

Wisconsin’s current black bear population is estimated to be over 24,000 bears, and the attack occurred in their primary range, which is the northern third of the state. However, their range is expanding as their numbers continue to climb, according to WDNR. In fact, due to the burgeoning black bear population within the state, a multi-year study is currently underway to help officials determine bear management strategies going forward.