By Emma Cotton/VTDigger
A bear attacked a person in Stratton on Wednesday, Nov. 2, according to the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department.
The victim, who was not identified, was treated for injuries that were not life threatening and released from Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington, according to a press release issued by the department Thursday morning, Nov. 3.
State officials are actively investigating the attack, the release said.
While bear attacks are extremely rare in Vermont — only four others have been documented in the state’s recent history — Wednesday’s incident marks the second attack this year.
In August, a bear attacked a woman in Strafford who was walking on her property with her dogs.
In that case, the woman sustained some injuries and received preventative rabies care. Officials guessed the bear had been protecting cubs and had been surprised by the woman’s dogs.
While bear-human interactions have been increasing throughout the past several years, state officials say the increase has been more dramatic this year.
“The number one cause of this dangerous, escalating behavior is Vermonters failing to secure food sources that attract bears,” Jaclyn Comeau, a biologist who leads the Fish and Wildlife Department’s Black Bear Project, said in a press release in July. “This failure is putting people and bears in danger.”
Another contributing factor could be a less abundant natural food supply, see related story on this page.