A 65-year-old man and a 64-year-old woman were both injured by bears that had been chased by their dogs in two separate incidents in recent days, officials in Connecticut and Maine said.
In the first incident, 64-year-old Lynn Kelly was working in her garden around 11:30 a.m. Friday when her dog started barking and ran into the woods, the Maine Department Of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife said. The dog then ran back out of the woods with a black bear chasing after it.
Kelly confronted the bear and punched it in the nose after it stood up, officials said. The bear bit her right hand, puncturing her wrist. The bear then ran back into the wood, the department said.
Kelly was taken to a hospital for treatment. Her dog was unharmed.
The bear has not been seen since the incident, which state officials described as a “provoked attack.” Two live-capture traps have been set.
On Saturday, a bear was exploring some bird feeders on a porch in Litchfield, Connecticut, around 11:15 a.m. when a dog spotted it and chased the bear, authorities said. The bear attacked the dog and the 65-year-old homeowner, who was not publicly identified, “intervened,” authorities said.
The homeowner was injured by the bear, but his injuries were not considered life-threatening, officials said. The man was taken to a hospital for treatment and the dog was taken to a veterinary hospital.
The bear went into the nearby woods after the attack.
In areas where bears are known to live, dog owners are advised to walk their pets on a non-retractable leash. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife also said people should not get between their dog and a bear.
In the aftermath of these recent incidents, officials also advised people not to keep bird feeders outside from late March through November, when bears are active outside.
People grilling outside over the holiday weekend should clean barbecues after use and store grills inside a garage or shed, wildlife officials said. People should also avoid leaving unattended food or trash bags outside and garbage should be stored in secure, airtight containers inside a garage or enclosed area.