VERNON TOWNSHIP, N.J. — A black bear attacked a woman walking her dog outside her home about 40 miles northwest of New York City, authorities said Thursday.
The woman, whose name was not released, lives in the Pleasant Valley Lake area near a country club and a national wildlife refuge, Administrative Lt. Keith Kimkowski of the Vernon Township Police Department said in a statement. The township has about 25,000 residents.
She had just left her house at about 10 a.m. ET Monday and saw a bear with three cubs nearby, he said.
The adult bear charged the woman, causing her to fall backward. A neighbor saw the incident and chased the bear into the woods, Kimkowski said.
The woman was transported to a local hospital to be treated for injuries from the fall. The extent of her injuries was not known Thursday nor whether she remained hospitalized.
The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, which has been studying and managing the state’s black bear population since 2001, was advised of the incident, police said.
Bear attacks in the state are rare, but because this bear pushed the woman down, potentially swatting her with its claws, it would be considered a threat to human safety, according to the state wildlife division’s website. Generally, those bears are killed as quickly as possible.
Startled black bears generally run, often up a tree, if they think they have an escape route, according to the North American Bear Center in Ely, Minn. Females aren’t likely to become aggressive when they are out with their cubs, but they are on the alert for danger and will react to a person who is very close.