Bear Vs Zucchini

News
Friday, September 24, 2010 - 8:17am

Woman armed with large squash fends off attacking bear.

It's certainly not the first bear attack western Montana's seen this year, but it might be the strangest.

Shortly after midnight Wednesday a woman living in the mountains near Frenchtown let her three dogs outside.

One began barking.

She opened the door and saw an adult black bear running toward her dog.

The woman didn't want investigators to release her name, but she told them she screamed and the bear swung toward her.

It moved toward her open door and she kicked at it.

The bear swiped her leg with its paw and turned back toward the dog.

The woman then looked in her kitchen and grabbed a large zucchini off her counter and threw it at the bear.

The vegetable hit the bear near the head and it left the area.

Still, the bear left its mark behind.

The woman received minor scratches on her leg that did not require medical attention.

The collie was taken to a Missoula veterinarian for treatment and observation and does not appear to have life-threatening injuries.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks hauled a bear trap to the area to catch the bear.

They'll use DNA from the 6 1/2 pound zucchini and the woman's pants to see if they can catch the right bear.

News of this bear attack spread like wildfire in the Frenchtown Valley.

Some we talked to tell us they're not surprised.

"There's nothing for them to eat in the mountains you know, no berries, or nothing," says Jeff Carlson.

Neighbors say the bear may be cute and cuddly, and the story somewhat comical, but it's a major safety concern, not only to those who live in that area, but also to their pets.

According to the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, the bear was probably drawn to the home because of some nearby fruit trees and berries.

The property did not have other backyard bear attractants like garbage or livestock feed, and FWP's Vivaca Crowser said that this homeowner was doing all the right things in keeping these things out of the bear's reach.

The encounter still serves as a reminder to residents to continue to keep backyard bear attractants secure.
 

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