The 34-year-old woman was walking along Gorney Road in Lafayette Township, New Jersey around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday to check her mail when she was attacked by a black bear
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Woman, 34, is hospitalized after being attacked by a black bear when she went to check her mail outside her New Jersey home

  • A 34-year-old woman was attacked on Wednesday by a black bear near her Lafayette Township, New Jersey home while she was walking to get the mail
  • It happened on Gorney Road in Lafayette Township around 4.30pm
  • The woman, who has not been identified, said she saw at least three bears 
  • A 150- to 200-pound bear ‘charged and attacked her,’ officials said
  • The bears were scared off when a neighbor honked their car horn
  • The woman was taken to the hospital where she was treated 
  • If the bear is caught and confirmed to be  the attacker, it will be euthanized
  • The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection reminds residents to never feed or approach bears and to remain calm if encountering one

A New Jersey woman was taken to a hospital to be treated for wounds to her right arm and buttock after she was attacked by a black bear as she walked to check her mailbox near her home.

The 34-year-old woman was walking along Gorney Road in Lafayette Township around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday to check her mail near her home when she was attacked, police said. 

Officials said the woman, who has not been identified, saw two to three bears and was ‘involved in a physical encounter with one of them.’ 

State Police Trooper Brandi Slota told the New Jersey Herald that a bear that appeared to be roughly anywhere from 150 to 200 pounds, ‘charged and attacked her.’ 

The bear, believed to be between a year and two years old, was with two other bears at the time of the attack, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection spokesperson Larry Hajna told Dailymail.com. 

They were scared off when a neighbor honked their car horn, he added. 

The woman was taken to a hospital for treatment of injuries to her arm and buttock and was later released.

The 34-year-old woman was walking along Gorney Road in Lafayette Township, New Jersey around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday to check her mail when she was attacked by a black bear

The 34-year-old woman was walking along Gorney Road in Lafayette Township, New Jersey around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday to check her mail when she was attacked by a black bear

State officials said the bear involved was reported to be one or two years old and 150 to 200 pounds. New Jersey Fish & Wildlife was investigating the incident had set a trap in the area. 

If the bear is caught and confirmed to be the animal involved in the attack, it will be euthanized, officials said.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection reminds residents to never feed or approach bears and to remain calm if an encounter occurs. 

Do not run from a bear and instead make it aware of your presence by speaking in an assertive voice, sing, clap your hands or make other noises, according to the NJDEP.

Wednesday’s bear encounter was the third this year in Sussex County. 

Bears mauled and killed two dogs earlier this year in Sussex County, but the latest attack is the first involving a person in almost two years.

In 2020, an 82-year-old man had to have more than 30 stitches after a bear attack in West Milford. Wildlife officials said a 2014 bear attack in West Milford claimed the life of a 22-year-old Rutgers University student, the first documented fatality from a bear in state history.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection reminds residents to never feed or approach bears and to remain calm if an encounter occurs

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection reminds residents to never feed or approach bears and to remain calm if an encounter occurs

SAFETY TIPS TO REMEMBER FOR BLACK BEAR ENCOUNTERS

  • Never feed or approach a bear
  • Remain calm if you encounter a bear 
  • Make the bear aware of your presence by speaking in an assertive voice, singing, clapping your hands, or making other noises
  • Make sure the bear has an escape route
  • If a bear enters your home, provide it with an escape route by propping all doors open
  • Avoid direct eye contact, which may be perceived by a bear as a challenge. Never run from a bear. Instead, slowly back away
  • To scare the bear away, make loud noises by yelling, banging pots and pans or using an airhorn
  • Make yourself look as big as possible by waving your arms. If you are with someone else, stand close together with your arms raised above your head
  • The bear may utter a series of huffs, make popping jaw sounds by snapping its jaws and swat the ground. These are warning signs that you are too close
  • Slowly back away, avoid direct eye contact and do not run
  • If a bear stands on its hind legs or moves closer, it may be trying to get a better view or detect scents in the air. It is usually not a threatening behavior 
  • Black bears will sometimes ‘bluff charge’ when cornered, threatened or attempting to steal food. 
  • Stand your ground, avoid direct eye contact, then slowly back away and do not run
  • If the bear does not leave, move to a secure area. 
  • Report black bear damage or nuisance behavior to the DEP’s 24-hour, toll-free hotline at 1-877-WARN DEP (1-877-927-6337)
  • Families who live in areas frequented by black bears should have a ‘Bear Plan’ in place for children, with an escape route and planned use of whistles and air horns
  • Black bear attacks are extremely rare. If a black bear does attack, fight back

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