First Recorded Bear Attack In KY

Kentucky Fish & Wildlife, Bear Hunting Magazine

A Kentucky black bear that mauled a hiker has so far eluded traps and a scenic area in the Daniel Boone National Forest remained closed to the public following the rare attack by an Appalachian bear on a human.

Wildlife officers had not been able to find the animal that attacked, bit and shook Tim Scott this last Sunday in a remote area near Stanton in eastern Kentucky, state tourism spokeswoman Barbara Atwood said.

"They had a bear sighting yesterday. However, they could not confirm that it was the bear in question,' Atwood said. "But they feel confident the bear is still in the area.'

Scott said he was hiking in the Red River Gorge Geological Area ahead of his wife and son when he spotted the bear about 25 feet away. He said it appeared to be about 150 pounds and he took a few photos with his cell phone until the bear disappeared under a ledge. Scott said he was about to call his wife to tell her to take another trail when the bear reappeared.

Scott said he yelled and dropped his belt bag, hoping to distract the animal. The bear just sniffed the bag and continued approaching Scott, who grabbed a rotted branch and hit the bear. But the animal kept coming. Eventually, the bear "lunged forward and grabbed me a bit, but let go,' Scott stated.

Scott tried to move behind a tree for protection a couple of times, but he said the bear grabbed him by the leg and threw him. Then, he said, it sank its teeth into his thigh and shook him.

A small group of hikers who heard the commotion came to Scott's rescue. Members of the group estimated the bear to be much bigger than Scott first thought.

The group was able to chase the bear away from Scott, but tit did follow the group for about a half mile until it wandered away.

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources said it was the first recorded bear attack on a person in the state that they are aware of.

Black bears were common in Kentucky more than 100 years ago but disappeared due to over-hunting and loss of habitat. Over the past 20 years, they have found their way back from neighboring states such as Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

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