Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Bear shot after two attacks near Isabella

Dog owner, carpenters fight off aggressive animal

Keith Vandervort
Posted 12/21/17

ISABELLA –A black bear was shot and killed by authorities Tuesday near Isabella after the bear apparently injured two people in two different incidents earlier in the day. The incidents happened …

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Bear shot after two attacks near Isabella

Dog owner, carpenters fight off aggressive animal

Posted

ISABELLA –A black bear was shot and killed by authorities Tuesday near Isabella after the bear apparently injured two people in two different incidents earlier in the day. The incidents happened near McDougal Lake off Minnesota Highway 1.

In the first incident, according to the Lake County Sheriff’s Department, the bear attacked a dog, and a homeowner was injured when he tried to intervene.

“He was bitten in the abdomen and suffered some puncture wounds,” said Capt. Tom Provost, regional conservation officer supervisor for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The 68-year-old man drove himself to Ely-Bloomenson Community Hospital for treatment.

The bear apparently moved down the lakeshore to another cabin and encountered two carpenters doing construction work on a garage. Officers said when the bear attacked one of the workers, the other worker tried to help and was bitten on the arm.

One man was transported to the Ely hospital and treated for non-life threatening injuries.

DNR officers were able to track the bear they believe attacked the workers and put it down later that day, after issuing a Code Red Alert for residents in the area.

The female black bear weighed about 200 pounds.  According to DNR officials, it is abnormal for bears to be walking around at this point in the year. They speculated the bear may have been awakened by the power tools the construction workers were using.

The incidents were reported just before 11 a.m. Deputies shot the bear,within 100 yards of the scene where the carpenters were attacked.

“We had deputies out there and (conservation officers) and they got it pretty close to the scene,” Provost said, adding that DNR biologists will inspect the bear to find out why it was awake, moving around and aggressive.

In June 2013, a 72-year-old rural McGregor woman was bitten and clawed by a bear in the woman’s yard just outside her lake home. The woman received non-life-threatening injuries and the bear was later killed when it charged at a state conservation officer about 200 yards from where the attack occurred.

Black bear attacks on humans are very rare anywhere in the world, including Minnesota. And because black bears usually enter hibernation in late October, spending the winter in a mostly sleepy state and not venturing outside, they are seldom seen during winter months. Bears usually spend winter in some sort of den, in piles of leaves or under uprooted trees and live off their fat reserves until spring.

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