She fired seven pistol shots to scare off the bears.
DNR - Black bears and humans: What you should know
Sonny was taken to Haywood Regional Hospital where he was treated for a throbbing, swollen punching hand, scratches and a puncture wound to the hip. He also must undergo four painful rounds of rabies shots. He was taught that if a shark got too close, to punch it in the nose and applied that logic to his furry mammal fighting tactics.
Fairley Mahlum, spokeswoman with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, said wildlife officers set a trap for the bear, but it is unlikely she will be caught because it is believed that she was passing through the area, which has not had many black bear sightings recently. In September, Toni Rhegness, 75, of Swannanoa, suffered serious, non-life-threatening injuries after she was bitten and scratched by a female black bear near her home. Rhegness was walking her dog on a leash about p.
As her dog barked, Rhegness shouted to scare the cubs off, picked up her dog and headed toward her home. Mahlum said the recent incident might have been a similar situation, in which the mother bear was acting in defense of her cubs. If this bear wanted to maul him, she could have, but she ran off.
In the Swannanoa attack, wildlife staff trapped the adult bear and cubs and euthanized the adult bear to protect human safety and to keep the cubs from learning her behavior, Olfenbuttel said. In cases where a bear is at least 50 feet away, Mahlum said that yelling, clapping and making noise can be an effective way to drive black bears away. But she said this technique is not recommended when very close to a bear, or when encountering a mother bear with cubs.
The Wildlife Commission estimates there are about 20, black bears in North Carolina, with 6,, in the mountains.
She was a mother and she may have felt he was going to hurt her cubs. Sonny Pumphrey, seen recovering in the hospital with his wife, Betty Pumphrey, fought off a black bear in his Maggie Valley driveway.
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Bears eat foods left near campsites, garbage, or foods left out for pets or wild birds. Bear problems are far more likely to occur when bears become used to finding food provided by humans.
A DNR information flier on Michigan black bear details some helpful tips for avoiding conflicts with bears around homes and camps:. Bear populations throughout Michigan are currently stable or are increasing, depending on region. Bears are found across roughly 35, square miles of suitable habitat, mostly in the northern two-thirds of the state. This estimate includes 9, black bears in the U.
Those figures were calculated before the bear hunting seasons. As a comparison, the pre-hunting season figures for showed a total of 10, sub-adult and adult bears, with 8, in the U. While the analysis estimates the bear population in the Upper Peninsula has increased about 1 percent since , in the northern Lower Peninsula, bear numbers have risen an estimated 47 percent over that same time frame. Swanson said state wildlife biologists have worked to balance requests from the public for more bears with local bear population densities and numbers of bear nuisance complaints.
In Michigan, hunting helps keep bear populations at acceptable levels. Bear hunting is a long-standing tradition in the state, enjoyed by those who hunt over bait or pursue bears with dogs. Recreational hunting of Michigan black bear began in Nearly years later, the DNR continues to carefully manage bear populations and habitat. This year, more than 56, hunters applied for 7, available bear hunting licenses, up more than 9 percent from Bear hunting seasons open across Michigan in September and, depending on the bear management unit, largely continue into October.
Some days of the hunt are restricted to bait-only hunting, while bait and dogs may be used during the remainder of the seasons. Non-resident licenses in Michigan are capped at 5 percent this year, an increase from a previous cap of 2 percent. This year, out-of-state residents were granted bear hunting licenses from the 7, issued. With black bear numbers currently approaching 12, adult black bear statewide, there are excellent opportunities for wildlife viewing and bear hunting in Michigan. Black bear nuisance complaints in the U.
However, any bear will take advantage of an easy meal, like seeds from backyard wild bird feeders and household garbage. Under Michigan law, black bears can only be killed by a licensed hunter or when human life is in danger.
Anyone who is experiencing problems with bears should contact the nearest DNR office and speak with a wildlife biologist or technician for further assistance. Get more information on Michigan black bears at www. Check out previous Showcasing the DNR stories and subscribe to upcoming articles at www. Accompanying photos are available below for download and media use. Suggested captions follow. Credit: Michigan Department of Natural Resources, unless otherwise noted. Bear : For many people, seeing a Michigan black bear in the wild, like the one shown here, is an amazing experience.
Bears : A sow and two black bear cubs investigate a grassy area where garbage has been left.
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Cub 1 , Cub 2 and Cub 3 : Researchers working on the Upper Peninsula predator-prey study examine a bear cub found in a den with its mother and two siblings in February in Houghton County. Feeder : A black bear visiting a backyard bird feeder at night. Feet : Bears have padded feet and sharp claws for climbing trees and helping to locate food, like tearing open rotted stumps to find insects. Tooth : A bear tooth extracted during a bear check in fall Wildlife biologists can tell a good deal of information from examining teeth including age, sex, condition and when they might have had cubs.
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