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Location: International Falls, Minnesota
Joined: 06/29/2004
Posts: 59
Woman severely hurt in black bear attack

Dan Wascoe, Star Tribune
July 31, 2005

A black bear attacked and severely injured a 50-year-old woman walking in the woods near her home in Carlton County on Friday.

Mary Lou Munn, who lives in Holyoke Township, southwest of Duluth, was reported in good condition Saturday at St. Mary's Hospital in Duluth.

Her husband, John Magnuson, and other county residents described the attack as highly unusual and speculated the bear might have been startled or defending cubs, although none were seen. Magnuson said he had seen what he believes may be the same animal in the area.

He described his wife as "a pretty tough lady. I've got to hand it to her." Depending on whether claw and teeth wounds over much of her body get infected, he said, she may remain hospitalized for four or five days. Munn's 51st birthday will be Friday.

She was found lying in her front yard at about 5:30 p.m. with several severe cuts to her leg, back, stomach and shoulder area, authorities said.

She told sheriff's deputies she was walking in the woods by a beaver pond when the attack occurred.

Munn fought the bear with a small stick and her fists, and Magnuson said their dog, an Italian mastiff, tried to help by drawing the bear away three times. But the bear returned, he said.

After the bear stopped, Munn walked a quarter-mile back to her house and called police, according to the Sheriff's Department.

Magnuson said he and his wife live on property with "a couple of horses" in a "very bushy, low-visibility area" in a rural part of the county. Unfortunately, he said, his wife was home alone at the time. Two adult sons live elsewhere in the Duluth area.

Pam Coy, a wildlife biologist with the Grand Rapids office of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, said Saturday that black bear attacks are very rare, but when they do occur, they are usually predatory.

"Generally black bears run away if they see a person, even a female with cubs," Coy said. "But the theory is that most black bear attacks are predatory; they see someone and think it's food. That usually happens in very remote areas where the bear hasn't had contact with humans."

She said the dog may have been a factor in the attack, making the bear more aggressive.

Coy recalled two black bear attacks in the past couple of years, one near Mille Lacs Lake and the other near Grand Marais.

Carlton County Commissioner Ted Pihlman of Moose Lake said he was surprised by news of the attack because he has seen only three bears in 50 years of deer hunting and this year "there's a lot of berries and bear food" in the woods that might be expected to keep bears well-fed.

He said residents are likely to be concerned when they hear of a bear that attacks people and is roaming the area.

Coy said the DNR probably will contact the conservation officers in the area and try to find the bear, perhaps by setting traps. The bear in the Grand Marais attack was very aggressive and had to be shot, she said.

Because a black bear attack is predatory, the best defense is to fight as hard as possible, Coy said.

Bears in the metro

Two male black bears were killed by authorities in the Twin Cities metropolitan area this year.

On April 19, DNR officers shot a bear in Maplewood because they said it posed a public safety concern as it roamed near a freeway.

On May 17, St. Paul animal control officers tranquilized a bear after it wandered through Oakdale, Woodbury, Maplewood and St. Paul. Later they destroyed the animal, saying they could not find a way or a place to move it.

Staff writer Jon Tevlin and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Carlton County Commissioner Ted Pihlman of Moose Lake said he was surprised by news of the attack because he has seen only three bears in 50 years of deer hunting and this year "there's a lot of berries and bear food" in the woods that might be expected to keep bears well-fed.

He said residents are likely to be concerned when they hear of a bear that attacks people and is roaming the area.

Coy said the DNR probably will contact the conservation officers in the area and try to find the bear, perhaps by setting traps. The bear in the Grand Marais attack was very aggressive and had to be shot, she said.

Because a black bear attack is predatory, the best defense is to fight as hard as possible, Coy said.

Bears in the metro

Two male black bears were killed by authorities in the Twin Cities metropolitan area this year.

On April 19, DNR officers shot a bear in Maplewood because they said it posed a public safety concern as it roamed near a freeway.

On May 17, St. Paul animal control officers tranquilized a bear after it wandered through Oakdale, Woodbury, Maplewood and St. Paul. Later they destroyed the animal, saying they could not find a way or a place to move it.

Staff writer Jon Tevlin and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Location: International Falls, Minnesota
Joined: 06/29/2004
Posts: 59
Woman severely hurt in black bear attack

Woman recounts mauling by bear
Larry Oakes, Star Tribune
August 2, 2005

DULUTH, Minn. -- A Holyoke, Minn., woman mauled by a bear said from a Duluth hospital Monday that only luck and her dog kept her from being more seriously hurt, or even killed.

''I think the bear just lost it,'' said Mary Munn, 50, who was walking in the woods near her rural home Friday when the bear attacked. Before her ordeal was over, she had deep bites in her side and armpit and ''a big chunk of flesh'' missing from her right leg.

She said she was more amazed than scared, because she knew that the odds of a black bear attacking a human are remote, but she wasn't too bewildered to fight back.

''I smacked him in the nose at least three times,'' she said. ''He didn't even blink an eye or act like he felt a thing.''

Dr. Kevin Stephan, an infectious disease specialist, who was treating Munn at St. Mary's Medical Center, said her injuries reflected a ''severe unprovoked attack.'' He said that although there is no recorded case of a bear transmitting rabies to a human, Munn is undergoing a series of shots, just in case.

Woman mauled by bearRichard SennottStar Tribune
Munn said that throughout the attack, her dog, a boxer mix named Maggie, repeatedly distracted the bear by running close in and drawing the bear away.

The second or third time the dog did that, Munn hobbled in the opposite direction. This time, the bear didn't return and Munn and the dog made it the quarter mile back to the house.

She said she called 9-1-1 and sat in the shade outside awaiting help. Holyoke is about 20 miles south of Duluth.

Location: Minnesota,
Joined: 08/28/2004
Posts: 259
Woman severely hurt in black bear attack

Just when you thought is was safe to go back into the woods!

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