Cleveland: Pa. black bear attack brings rising fears

12:00 AM, Oct 6, 2011   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- While this incident was rare, with black bears roaming in Northeast Ohio suburbs, what is the real threat of attack?

Angie and Rich Moyer share the battle wounds of a black bear attack from earlier this week. They have deep scratches and puncture wounds. Rich had his scalp torn.

"It literally ripped the back of my head off. I was feeling my hair pull. I thought it was the end," Rich said.

Rich jumped on top of the bear to stop it from mauling his wife.

Wildlife officers say the female bear likely felt her cubs were threatened by the couple's dog. That's what lead her into the home.

Black bear attacks are rare. They are family and food protective. Those are about the only two reasons for an attack.

"The bears stay with the mother for about two years. That is a tremendous amount of investment so they're going to protect them, life and limb," said Travis Vineyard, Metroparks animal care giver.

The Cleveland Metroparks Zoo recently acquired grizzly cubs after a sportsman in Montana got between the youngsters and their mother. She attacked and was shot.

"This time of year, if it's a mother with cubs, she's teaching them what to eat, how to forage and they're collecting as much food as possible," Vineyard said.

This time of year, bears are looking to fill up before winter. Keep food sources like bird feeders, trash cans, fruit fallen from trees and dog food out of your yard.

There are an estimated 100 black bears living in Ohio and many more in Pennsylvania and West Virginia that do cross state lines.


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