Man recovering from bear mauling outside Wisconsin cabin

Published June 19, 2013

| Associated Press

A man who was attacked by a black bear outside a cabin in northwestern Wisconsin is recovering at a hospital.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says the man was attacked in his yard near Shell Lake on Monday night. DNR carnivore specialist David MacFarland says the man's dog apparently initiated contact with the bear.

MacFarland says the man's brother came out of the cabin and shot and injured the bear, which ran away.

The Burnett County Sheriff's Department says the man was taken to a hospital in Shell Lake. He was then airlifted to a hospital in the Twin Cities. MacFarland says he's in stable condition.

DNR wildlife supervisor Mike Zeckmeister says officials have set up traps for the bear in case it returns.

The attack in Wisconsin was not initiated by the man, unlike an attack at an Alaskan campground on Sunday according to the Alaskan Department of Fish and Game.

Spokesman Ken Marsh said the bear was "pretty much goaded" into the attack Saturday near Eklutna Lake Campground north of Anchorage because the man fed it meat from a church barbecue, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

The man could be charged with illegally feeding wildlife, according to Alaska State Troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen. He had been drinking and went for a bike ride, taking some of the food along, she said. The man came across the bear and threw it a piece of meat. He then offered the bear another piece.

"That's when it kind of went ballistic," Ipsen said.

Park rangers later found the bloodied man washing himself off at the campground, Marsh said.

"He wasn't terribly coherent," he said. "He was unsure of where the attack actually happened."

The man was treated for punctures wounds and scratches at an Anchorage hospital. His name was not immediately released.

Authorities are still trying to sort out what happened, Ipsen said. There were no witnesses to the attack and the man struggled to convey what had happened when a trooper spoke with him at the hospital, she said.

A state biologist sent to the scene couldn't find the bear, Marsh said. There's no indication the animal will attack others.

"The bear was pretty much goaded into this," Marsh said.

Biologists advise people never to feed wild animals anything.

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