Bear attacks two young children playing outside their home, Pennsylvania officials say
Two young children were playing in the driveway outside their home when they were attacked by a bear, according to authorities in Pennsylvania.
The bear attacked the two Monday, May 22, in Wright Township, according to a news release from the Pennsylvania Game Commission.
The children — ages 5 and 14 months old — were taken to a hospital where they were treated for bites and/or scratches, officials said. They have both been released from the hospital.
“This is an unfortunate incident and I’m relieved to hear their injuries aren’t severe,” Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans said in the release.
Officials with the state wildlife department said “there are few details about the incident or what might have provoked the attack.”
“The bear involved in Monday’s incident likely isn’t prone to attack,” authorities said. “The attack more likely was triggered by some unknown circumstance.”
As a precaution, the game commission set two bear traps in the area of the attack.
If the traps catch a bear, officials said DNA testing may be able to identify if it was the same one that attacked the children. The department plans to euthanize the bear if it is caught.
Wright Township, in Luzerne County, is about 110 miles northwest of Philadelphia.
What to do if you see a bear
Bear attacks in the U.S. are rare, according to the National Park Service. In most attacks, bears are trying to defend their food, cubs or space.
There are steps people can take to help prevent a bear encounter from becoming a bear attack.
Identify yourself: Talk calmly and slowly wave your arms. This can help the bear realize you’re a human and nonthreatening.
Stay calm: Bears usually don’t want to attack; they want to be left alone. Talk slowly and with a low voice to the bear.
Don’t scream: Screaming could trigger an attack.
Pick up small children: Don’t let kids run away from the bear. It could think they’re small prey.
Hike in groups: A group is noisier and smellier, the National Park Service said. Bears like to keep their distance from groups of people.
Make yourself look big: Move to higher ground and stand tall. Don’t make any sudden movements.
Don’t drop your bag: A bag on your back can keep a bear from accessing food, and it can provide protection.
Walk away slowly: Move sideways so you appear less threatening to the bear. This also lets you keep an eye out.
Again, don’t run: Bears will chase you, just like a dog would.
Don’t climb trees: Grizzlies and black bears can also climb.
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