Bear attacks in Vernon, NJ, are said to be a rare occurrence, and the latest report of a woman being attacked is only one of a few reports in the state over the last few years.
According to North Jersey, a NJ woman was out walking her dog when she spotted a black bear with her three cubs when it charged at her. This startled her and caused her to fall backwards. A neighbor witnessed the attack and ran to help, chasing the bear and the cubs off into the woods.
The attack happened Monday morning around ten a.m. in Vernon, NJ, and according to one report by AZ Central, the woman suffered injuries from her fall as well as swipes from the bear.
One other report of a bear attack in the area was covered by the Inquisitr in 2014. The incident resulted in the death of a student who took a picture of the bear before it mauled him.
— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) November 26, 2014
The report went viral and started a debate about the growing bear population and the dangers they present to residents. At the time, it was the first reported attack in 150 years.
The NJ woman’s name from the latest attacked has not been released, but she is said to live around the Pleasant Valley Lake area located near a country club and a Wildlife Refuge. There are also conflicting reports as to whether the NJ woman was actually attacked or not.
One person commenting on the North Jersey article via Facebook who is also from Vernon, NJ, says that the bear never actually touched the woman.
“The bear never touched her, if it wanted to it would have, regardless of the neighbor chasing it away.”
AZ Central says differently, reporting the bear pushed the woman down.
Vernon Police Administrative Lieutenant Keith C. Kimkowski released a statement about the incident, saying that the NJ woman was taken to the hospital and that the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife were notified.
Even more, the comments began to unravel over a debate of what to do to prevent bear attacks, with a few saying that they should be killed to prevent more from happening.
In many cases, the wildlife authorities apparently have rules that if a bear attacks a person, they’re required kill it immediately even if the person survives.
In the case of the bear attack a few years ago, the bear that killed the student was shot in order to analyze the animal to find out why it attacks because, in some cases, it is said that bears can become brazen and kill again.
The black bear was sighted around the NJ woman’s house before she came out with her dog, others in the article’s comment thread shared their experiences of similar sightings around their homes and what they’ve done under those circumstances.
One person said that when they were leaving their home one day they spotted a bear and her cubs outside and though the bear did not charge at her, it did watch her for a bit before the woman turned around and went back inside, where she watched the animal groom itself and the cubs from her window until it left.
Another person says they were outside in their yard one day when they turned around and saw a black bear approach them from behind, to where they ended only several feet away from each other. They were not attacked but they did say how they’ve noticed that bears in the area are not afraid of getting close to people.
In the debate over killing bears if they attack, the argument some have made is that bears were the first “residents” in the area and that they should be given more space. Another says that before 10 years ago, there were no bears or sightings in the area and controlling the population was necessary.
As of this writing, there are no updates on the NJ woman or if the authorities have a plan to prevent potential bear attacks in the area.