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

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.

Story By

Scott Smith

Scott Smith is the General Manager for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has previously taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

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