Black bear attacks: It's not just grizzlies that worry Alaskans

Anchorage Daily NewsJuly 14, 2008 

When most people think about bears shot in self defense, they think about charging grizzlies. But there is another kind of dangerous bear out there — the predaceous black bear.

A real rarity in most of North America, these dangerous bears pop up occasionally in the Far North. Back in 1977, geologist Cythia Dusel-Bacon lost both arms to one that attacked her in a thicket north of Fairbanks and tried to eat her alive.

In 1992, Darcy Staver and her husband, Michael, retreated to the roof of a cabin near Glennallen after being pursued by another. Michael eventually decided to go for help. While he was gone, the bear got up on the roof and killed Darcy.

Canadian bear expert Stephen Herrero has compiled data on these and about 50 other predaceous attacks and says there are similarities in many of the incidents:

Black bears that attack and kill people with an eye toward eating them tend to be young bears in wild areas where human contacts are rare.

In June of this year, one such bear attacked and killed a 70-year-old grandmother in northern Quebec.

Cecile Lavoie and her 73-year-old husband, Alexandre, were fishing in a remote area about 350 miles northwest of Ottawa.

Read the full story at

McClatchy Washington Bureau is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service