Bear euthanized after attacking two children in Pennsylvania

Tribune Content Agency

A bear was captured and euthanized in Pennsylvania last week after attacking two children, according to officials.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission said in a news release that two bears — a male and a female — were caught in Luzerne County on Friday following an attack on a 5-year-old and 14-year-old who were playing in a Wright Township driveway on May 22.

DNA testing confirmed the female bear attacked the children, who were treated for bites and scratches at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital and later released.

It’s unclear what led to the bear attack.

“While bear attacks in Pennsylvania are extremely rare, when bears attack people and later are captured, they are euthanized to ensure public safety,” the Game Commission said.

“That’s not to say a bear involved in an attack is prone to attack. Bear attacks many times are the product of a bear that is cornered and has no easy escape route. But euthanasia is a precaution against future attacks, as well as the only way to test the bear for rabies.”

The male bear was relocated to a more remote area.

A third bear that was found dead last Wednesday after most likely being hit by a car does not appear to have been involved in the attack on the children.

“In general, Pennsylvania’s bears avoid contact with people and attacks are rare,” the Game Commission wrote last week on Facebook. “When attacks do occur, it often involves a situation where a bear is cornered and not given an opportunity to flee, or is triggered by a dog confronting a bear, and the dog’s owner becoming involved.”