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Butler woman survives bear attack outside her home; mother bear killed and 3 cubs tranquilized

A black bear eats trash after knocking over a trash bin in east Anchorage, Alaska, on Monday, July 12, 2021.
Mark Thiessen
A black bear eats trash after knocking over a trash bin in east Anchorage, Alaska, on Monday, July 12, 2021.

A woman was injured in a bear attack while letting her dog outside, and Pennsylvania game commission employees killed the mother bear and tranquilized her three yearling cubs, authorities said.

Butler Township police said the 55-year-old woman was attacked after letting her dog out behind her home Tuesday night. She was taken by ambulance to Butler Memorial Hospital and then Allegheny General Hospital for treatment of injuries to her arm, face, neck and head.

Police Chief John Hays told the Butler Eagle he believes there was some kind of interaction between the bears and the woman's dog, which was uninjured. He said an officer was nearby and reached the scene relatively quickly.

One of the victim's neighbors, Michael Vero, said it "was nerve-wracking to hear her screaming.”

The adult bear was found nearby with its three cubs in a tree, and was killed after she “continued with her aggression,” police said. The yearlings were tranquilized and will be released elsewhere if rabies is not detected in the sow, Game Commission spokesperson Travis Lau said in a statement.

Vero said bears had been in the neighborhood for a few weeks, and he was nervous for his children’s safety.

“I was on edge then; now that they’re out of here, it makes me feel a little better,” he said.

Another neighbor, Nancy Godineaux, told the Tribune-Review that she had seen a bear in the neighborhood at least 10 times in the month before the attack, and that another neighbor's doorbell camera recorded four bears rummaging through trash cans.

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