As an Oregon man learned the hard way, sometimes two gunshot wounds are not enough to slow down an angry black bear.
According to a release from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Craig Lankford shot a bear that was harassing his chickens. The following day, the bear came back for revenge. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said:
“According to Craig Lankford of La Grande, the victim, he had shot a bear the previous evening (May 23) while the bear had harassed his chickens. This morning, he went to search for the bear, encountered it near his property, and shot it again. Shortly afterwards, the bear attacked him.
“At about 7:37 a.m. this morning (May 24), 911 dispatch received a call of a bear attack on a person at Owsley Canyon Road. Sheriff Deputies responded to the area and arrived at the same time as medical services. The Union County Sheriff’s Office took immediate action by closing roads and the adjoining Mount Emily Recreation Area, knowing there was an injured bear in the area. The Oregon State Police and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife were notified. All notified agencies arrived a short time later and promptly made a plan to search for the bear.”
ODFW went in after the incident to find and euthanize the bear.
“At about 10:44 am and with assistance from USDA Wildlife Services, a bear consistent with the victim’s description and near the site of the attack was located and euthanized (shot). A necropsy was later performed and bullet fragments consistent with the victim’s report confirmed that the bear taken was the one involved in the attack.
“The victim suffered injuries to his arms and head but is expected to recover after being treated today at a hospital in La Grande.”
Bears are a constant threat in Oregon, as ODFW pointed out in their press release urging folks to stay a healthy distance from areas that show signs of bear activity:
“Wounded bears can be dangerous. ODFW is aware of at least three incidents when wounded bears attacked hunters who had shot but not killed them. None were fatal.
“Bear attacks are rare but tend to occur when bears are wounded, when they are being fed by people and lose their natural wariness, or when they are surprised by people or their dogs. Oregon has not documented any fatal bear attacks.
“Oregon is home to an estimated 25,000-30,000 bears. Everyone recreating outdoors or living in bear country is encouraged to take simple steps to reduce the risk of bear encounters and conflict.”
This incident serves as a brutal reminder that bears are not to be messed with. In multiple instances, according to ODFW, bears that were shot and wounded continued onward to attack their human counterpart. They also urge Oregonians to carry bear spray and keep it easily accessible, claiming that it is the best deterrent when approached by a potentially vicious bear.
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