Saturday, 7 July 2012

Dog walker escapes bear attack in Middle Smithfield Twp.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission is investigating a Wednesday night black bear attack in Middle Smithfield Township near the Great Bear Golf Course.

Marie Klingel, 54, told state police in Swiftwater that while walking a dog along Great Bear Way, a small black bear came out of the woods and tried to attack the dog.

Klingel said she got in the middle of the potential animal fight and was scratched and bitten by the bear, though not seriously.

Pennsylvania Game Commission Northeast Regional Office spokesman Bill Williams said Thursday his office still is gathering information on the incident before it can make a full determination of what happened.

Williams said anytime an animal makes contact with a human, "it's an issue" to be concerned about.

He said it's rare for a bear to come into contact with a person. When it does happen, there often is a common thread — a dog.

"When we've seen it, it's usually someone who is walking their dog," he said.

Derek Storey, who lives nearby at Tall Timber Circle, said Klingel is a dog-walker for many people in the Great Bear community, including his family. He said the dog she was walking at the time of the attack was not hers.

"Everybody (in the Great Bear community) is upset," he said.

Efforts to reach Klingel on Thursday were unsuccessful.

Storey said Klingel called him for help after the attack Wednesday night, knowing he is a paramedic and lived nearby where the attack happened.


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