Bear Attacks Picnicking Couple and Dog in North Carolina

Black Bear
AP Photo/Becky Bohrer

A couple received treatment for injuries and was eventually released Wednesday following a bear attack at the Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina.

The pair were enjoying a picnic near the center, parkway officials said, when their dog alerted them to a bear. The unleashed canine ran at the animal while barking, and officials explained the bear was likely aggravated by the dog’s behavior, WDBJ reported.

“Over the next several minutes, there were repeated attacks by the bear while the couple retreated with their dog to the safety of their vehicle,” the National Park Service said in a press release.

The couple then drove to Mission Hospital for treatment.

“Due to the bold and aggressive nature of this attack, temporary closures are in place on all trails in the area and outdoor food is currently prohibited,” the news release continued:

During the busy fall visitation season on the Parkway, visitors are reminded that the fall is also a critical feeding period for bears before they enter winter hibernation. Park visitors are reminded to take necessary precautions and be BearWise while in bear country, including properly following food storage regulations, keeping pets leashed and remaining at a safe viewing distance from bears. If attacked by a black bear, rangers strongly recommend fighting back with any object available and remember that bears may view you and your pets as prey. Though rare, attacks on humans do occur, and can cause injuries or death.

In a video, FOX Carolina News listed the trail closures following the incident:

Meanwhile, park rangers and biologists working with the NC Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) were trying to capture the bear and patrolling the area.

“A thorough investigation of the scene was conducted and forensic evidence was collected to be used for DNA analysis. If the offending bear is captured and positively identified, officials will humanely euthanize the animal, per park and NCWRC protocol,” the news release said.

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