Bear Attack Test Results Released
On August 8, a visitor at Douthat State Park in Millboro was attacked by a black bear. The guest received treatment for injuries at a nearby hospital and was released the same day.
With the assistance of tracking dogs, staff with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) attempted to pick up the trail from the location of the attack. After a lengthy search, a bear matching the description was located in a remote section of the park, close to where the incident took place. Due to the risk to public safety and the health concerns for the victim, the bear was euthanized.
Biological samples from the bear were collected and submitted for forensic and rabies testing. Staff from DGIF collected the victim’s clothing for DNA sampling. Test results from the Northeast Wildlife DNA Laboratory in Pennsylvania indicated that the black bear DNA profile was not a match to the profile from the individual’s clothes.
DCR and DGIF are working together to ensure public safety. Since the incident, the park has conducted a public information campaign to educate park visitors about bear safety and is working proactively with DGIF.
For information about preventing conflicts with black bears, visit http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/bear/.
Tune in to Allegheny Mountain Radio next week for continued coverage on bear awareness and safety and efforts to locate the animal responsible for the attack.