A Porter woman was treated in the hospital for puncture wounds after she punched a black bear in the nose Friday when it came after her dog, according to state wildlife officials.

“At approximately 11:30 this morning 64-year-old Lynn Kelly of Porter was out working in her garden in her backyard when her dog started barking and took off into the woods,” said Mark Latti, communications director for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife. “Kelly heard her dog continue to bark then yelp, and when she went to investigate, her dog came running out of the woods, being chased by a black bear.”

According to Latti, Kelly confronted the bear and when the bear stood up, Kelly “stood up as tall as she could, then punched the bear in the nose, whereupon the bear bit her in the right hand, puncturing her wrist.”

Latti said the bear then released her wrist and ran back into the woods. The dog was unharmed.

Kelly called 911 and was transported to Memorial Hospital in North Conway, New Hampshire, by ambulance, Latti said. She was treated for puncture wounds to her wrist.

The Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife is investigating the incident. The bear has not been seen since what Latti called “the provoked attack.” The department has set two live-capture culvert-style traps in the hopes of capturing the bear alive. The bear was seen in previous days in nearby yards eating birdseed that had been left outside, Latti said.


Latti said if the bear is captured, because it appears the bite was provoked from the bear being hit in the nose, “the bear would likely be relocated to an undeveloped area of northern Maine.”

The department issued a reminder that black bears can be found throughout the state, and offered these suggestions for preventing a run-in with a black bear, which are usually wary of humans and rarely provoke an attack.

• Remove potential wildlife attractants from your yard.

• If bears have been seen in your area, do not wait to remove potential food sources from your yard. Attractants can include bird feeders, bird seed on the ground, unsecured garbage, pet food and even barbecue grills.

• If you do see a bear, keep your distance, and do not corner or agitate the bear.

• If you are a dog owner and have seen a bear in your neighborhood: walk your dog on a non-retractable leash; turn around and leave if you see a bear; do not get in between your dog and a bear; turn any outside lights on before letting your dog outside at night.

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