Connecticut officials are investigating after a black bear bit a woman who was walking her dog Friday morning. 

The unidentified woman was walking in Avon, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) officials said at a news conference Friday afternoon. She returned home after she was bit and called for help. She declined medical attention on the scene and went to a hospital for treatment, DEEP said.  

The woman suffered superficial injuries and minor puncture wounds. The bear was humanely euthanized at the scene, as is protocol in situations when a black bear attacks a human, officials said in a press release from DEEP. 

“In these situations, public safety is DEEP’s top priority,” the agency said. “Under DEEP’s Black Bear Response protocol, an attack on a human is a category 4 response, meaning humane euthanization of the bear.

DEEP said in the press release and in an annual State of the Bears report that interactions between humans and bears are rising. That trend is continuing this year, and DEEP employees responded to “multiple reports of bear-home entries” earlier in the week. Another bear, in Salisbury, Connecticut, was euthanized after entering multiple homes. 

In a list of frequently asked questions about how to stay safe around bears, the state of Connecticut emphasizes that bears are not a major threat to humans. People walking with dogs should keep them on a short leash and not let them roam free, for the safety of themselves, their owners and the wildlife. 

According to a list of Do’s and Don’ts provided by the town of Avon, a roaming dog might be perceived as a threat to a bear or its cubs. 

Multiple people have been attacked while outdoors with their pets. A woman in southern Oregon was attacked in her backyard in Sept. 2022. She suffered some injuries but she and her dog were able to chase off the bear. In August 2022, a similar incident happened when a 61-year-old woman was attacked while walking her two dogs: one a terrier and one a Labradoodle. She suffered injuries to one leg, but the terrier barked at the dog, distracting it and allowing her and the dogs to escape.