Bear attacks, seriously injures woman in central Minnesota

28 January 2020, Lower Saxony, Osnabrück: Black bear "Honey" can be found in the black bear enclosure in the North American animal world "Manitoba" in Osnabrück Zoo. The animal originally comes from Malta, where it was rescued from poor husbandry con

A woman was seriously injured in a bear attack while letting her dog outside near Nisswa, Minnesota, early Friday morning. 

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said a woman staying at a cabin near Gull Lake was checking on her dog outside shortly after midnight and encountered the bear who swiped at her, striking her in several places. 

The woman was taken to the hospital to be treated for serious but non-life-threatening injuries and has since been released.

The DNR wildlife staff believe the bear was likely startled by the encounter and swatted at the woman to defend itself. The bear immediately left the area after the incident. 

"Bears that feel comfortable living near people may become more unpredictable when faced with a stressful situation, such as a dog showing up unexpectedly," the DNR said in a statement Saturday afternoon. "Each year in North America, there are thousands of interactions between people and black bears without incident." 

The DNR said the bear attack on Friday was the 10th incident involving a serious injury since 1987. Black bears are rarely aggressive and attacks on people are uncommon.

To avoid attracting bears, the DNR recommends removing sources of foods such as bird feeders, feeding pets indoors, storing trash in bear-proof containers, and keeping barbeque grills clean. 

The DNR said conservation officers are monitoring the area for bears that may pose a threat to public safety.