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

BUTLER, Pa. — A woman was injured in a bear attack while walking her dog outside, and Pennsylvania Game Commission officials killed the mother bear and tranquilized her three yearling cubs, authorities said.

Butler Township police said the 55-year-old woman was attacked Tuesday evening after letting her dog loose behind her home. She was taken by ambulance to Butler Memorial Hospital and then to 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 interaction between the bears and the woman’s dog, which was not injured. He said an officer was in the area and arrived relatively quickly.

One of the victim’s neighbors, Michael Vero, said it was “unnerving to hear her scream.”

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

Vero said bears had been in the area for a few weeks and he was nervous for the safety of his children.

“I was tense at the time; Now that they’re out of here, I 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 a dozen times in the month before the attack, and that another neighbor’s doorbell camera recorded four bears rummaging through trash cans.