UPDATE: Police shoot, kill bear that attacked woman in Medford neighborhood

MEDFORD, Ore. – Police officers shot and killed the bear that attacked a woman and her dog in a Medford neighborhood Monday.

On Monday, September 5, a woman was in her backyard at a home in the 900 block of North Ross Lane when a bear rushed at her and attacked her, Medford police said.

The woman’s dog reportedly intervened and was also attacked, but they were both able to chase it away. The woman sustained non-life threatening injuries.

The Medford Police Department said after the bear fled, it was hit by a vehicle on N. Ross Lane. It’s believed the bear was injured, but it was still able to leave the area.

Oregon State Police troopers from the Fish and Game Division scoured the area looking for the bear, but it wasn’t found.

Medford police said on September 6, someone spotted a bear in a tree in the 1100 block of Pinecroft Avenue in Medford, near where the initial attack happened.

As Medford officers were waiting for other agencies to assist, the bear started to climb out of the tree to flee.

“Officers on scene shot and killed the bear for the safety of the community,” Medford police said. “Per ODFW policy, a bear that is a threat to human life is not eligible for any relocation program.”

Based on the evidence, investigators confirmed it was the same bear that attacked the woman the previous night, MPD said.

“People should ‘be bear aware’ and do their part to avoid creating situations that are dangerous for people and bears,” said Mathew Vargas, ODFW’s Rogue District assistant wildlife biologist. “Black bears are wild animals that can behave unpredictably and may quickly become a human safety problem if habituated to human food.”

Wildlife officials are asking the public to take the following steps to prevent bears from getting food within the city:

  • Never feed bears.
  • Put garbage cans out just before pick-up.
  • Recology Ashland offers bear-resistant cans, call 541-482-1471.
  • Keep pet food inside.
  • Remove bird feeders.
  • Keep BBQ grills clean or in a garage.
  • Clean up fruit under trees.

If you encounter a bear:

  • STOP: Never approach a bear at any time for any reason. If you see bear cubs leave the area.
  • GIVE IT SPACE: Give any bear you encounter a way to escape.
  • STAY CALM: Do not run or make sudden movements. Face the bear and slowly back away.
  • AVOID EYE CONTACT: Don’t make eye contact with the bear.
  • DON’T RUN: It may encourage the bear to chase you.
  • FIGHT BACK: In the unlikely event you are attacked, fight back, shout, be aggressive, use rocks, sticks and hands.
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