Black Bear Attacks Woman in Arizona

Gilbert woman attacked by bear in Pinetop - East Valley Tribune::

"“This was a predatory attack and the animal was considered extremely dangerous. The department had to dispatch it for the public’s safety.”

Game and Fish Department is examining the bear to confirm it is the same animal that attacked the woman. Officials do not believe it is afflicted by any disease, but testing will be conducted to be sure."

2 comments:

  1. How can they assume it was a predatory attack since the bear did not immediately kill and eat the woman's flesh? It sounds more like a n attack in defense of the bear's food (the dumpster).

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  2. As I understand it from later news reports, neighbors and motorists came to the woman's aid, scaring the bear up a tree. But it came down and attacked her a second and then a third time. It was only through extraordinary efforts that these others managed to keep the bear from killing the woman. (She has since died in hospital, however.) In a carnivorid, this kind of focused attack, with the chosen prey preferred even in the face of danger, is classic predatory behavior. In black bears specifically, experts will consider whether witnesses observed defensive behaviors, such as warning grunts or bluff charges, or predatory behaviors, such as stalking the victim or dragging the body. Unfortunately, the news stories I've seen on this one haven't had any information about those matters.

    In a 2009 review of fatal black bear attacks, Stephen Herrero and his colleagues classed most of the fatalities as predatory, including most of the cases that involved bears drawn by human food or garbage. 38% of the fatalities involved garbage or human food; but they found no fatalities from bears defending some other sort of food, such as a deer carcass. What this probably means is that the bears are drawn by the garbage and then become habituated to human presence, so much so that they then feel comfortable treating humans as prey items.

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