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Peterborough-area woman attacked by a bear

Ontario provincial police have issued a warning after a Peterborough-area woman was attacked by a bear on Sunday.

The 53-year-old woman was walking her dogs on a trail off the 7th Line of Belmont south of Highway 7.  She saw three black bears around 4 p.m.

One of the bears became aggressive and attacked the woman, biting and mauling her. The woman’s dogs tried to defend her and were also injured.

However, they managed to frighten the three bears, which then ran away.

The woman made it back home and called 911. She was later taken to Campbellford Memorial Hospital to be treated. Her injuries are not life-threatening.

Officers were unable to locate the bears.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and police have released several safety tips after the incident. Check them out below:

  • Bears usually avoid humans, but they are attracted to urban and semi-urban areas to get food. They will topple bird feeders, ransack barbecues, raid garbage cans and even try to enter buildings. When they learn that they can find food where people live, bears will return again and again.
  • Garbage, bird and pet food and smells like grease and food residue on barbecues attract bears to our communities.

Be aware of bears on your property:

  • If a bear is damaging your property, breaking into your home or threatening human safety, call 911 or your local police.
  • If a bear is in a tree near you, leave it alone. Remove people and dogs from the area. The bear will leave when it feels safe.

If you encounter a bear:

  • If the bear is not paying any attention to you, slowly and quietly back away while watching the bear.
  • If the bear knows you are there, raise your arms to let the bear know you are a human. Speak in a firm but non-threatening voice while looking at the bear and backing away.
  • If a bear huffs, pops its jaw or stomps its paws on the ground, it wants you to back away and give it space.
  • If a bear closely approaches you, drop any food you are carrying and continue backing up.
  • If the bear continues to try to approach, stand your ground and be aggressive — yell, stand tall, wave your arms and throw objects, use a whistle or air horn, pepper spray or anything else to threaten or distract the bear.
  • Do not run or climb a tree.
  • If the bear makes contact, fight back with everything you have.
  • A landowner may humanely kill bears that are damaging or about to damage their property. Firearm regulations and bylaws must be followed.
  • If you dispatch a bear in protection of property, either as the landowner or the agent, and do not take possession of the carcass, you must notify the local MNR office.