The Bear Was on Top of Her. Then Her Dog Started Barking

Jack Russell terrier helps save the day in Vermont
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 23, 2022 3:33 PM CDT
Jack Russell Terrier Helps Save Woman From Bear
Super dog!   (Getty Images / alexei_tm)

A Jack Russell terrier just made clear why dogs are considered man's best friend. Or more specifically, a 61-year-old woman's. On Saturday, Susan Lee was walking her terrier and labradoodle on trails near her Strafford, Vermont home when she heard a "loud noise" and realized a bear was charging toward her. Per a release from the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, Lee then tripped on a stone wall and subsequently "felt pain on her upper left leg and realized the bear was on top of her and had bitten her." Then her dog intervened. Lee told officials her terrier began barking at the bear, at which point the animal got off her and turned its attention to the dog.

CBS News reports the bear seemed to become distracted, and Lee managed to head back down the trail with her dogs following. She called 911 from her home and texted a neighbor who brought her to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries: the bite and scratches that measured as long as 9 inches. The bear was not located, but Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department Bear Biologist Jaclyn Comeau believes it was a female with cubs. Comeau called such attacks very rare in the state, but cautioned that "at this time of year black bears are moving in family units and mothers will be protective of their cubs. If confronted by a bear it is essential to remain calm and back away slowly, and to fight back immediately if attacked." (More uplifting news stories.)

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