PA Game Commission: Bear that Attacked Couple Most Likely Defensive Mother

A couple is recovering after being attacked by a black bear in their Newport, Pennsylvania home early this morning.

The couple let their dog out between 4 and 4:30 a.m. When the dog returned, a black bear was in “hot pursuit,” according to Pennsylvania Game Commission spokesman Jerry Feaser.

The bear followed the dog into the house, where a man inside confronted it. He was bitten and scratched. The man’s wife attempted to scare the bear, but it turned on her as well.

State police arrived to investigate and took the couple to Harrisburg Hospital, where they are being treated for bites and scratches.

Feaser said authorities are attempting to determine the cause of the animal’s strangely defensive behavior. “Our belief is that it was most likely a female bear with cubs that were in the area, otherwise, Pennsylvania black bears, which are far more timid than their Western cousins, are more likely to run when confronted by a human or dog,” Feaser said. “In this case, the fact that the bear pursued the dog and went so far as to even follow it into house gives us reason to believe the bear is a female defending her cubs.”

The other possibility being investigated is that the bear was rabid, which may have accounted for its aggression. Feaser said that authorities are canvassing the area and checking for bears that are either rabid or have cubs to determine more information, including whether the offending bear is sick and needs to be put down.

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