“She came running out of the dark. She ran right to me. It was terrifying.” –Sarah Dietl
Terrifying account of a black bear encounter from a Vermont woman who was attacked just feet from her front door after her dog chased a cub up a tree. Sarah Dietl had just let her Shih Tzu, Bodhi, out of her condo in Winhall near Stratton when it took off and treed the cub. Momma bear was incensed and charged Dietl taking her to the ground. The Brattleboro Reformer reports that within seconds she was fighting for her life with her head in the jaws of the bear.
Her boyfriend Robert Montuoro saw the attack and snapped into action, smacking the bear in the head with a heavy duty flashlight. He was then able to drag Dietl back into the condo but he bear didn’t give up the fight. It then charged the door but thankfully they slammed it shut before it could break the threshold.
Dietl was taken to a local hospital where she received 15 staples in her scalp and was treated for injuries including a mangled hand, cuts to her face and a gash in her side.
Warden director of Vermont’s Fish and Wildlife Department, Col. Justin Stedman believes the recent increase in bear sightings in the area can be attributed to a lack of rainfall, warmer temperatures and increased human activity.
If you live in bear country always be on alert but especially so if you’re a pet owner. Game Warden Kyle Isherwood had this advice on the subject:
“Before letting pets out at night, I would urge Vermonters to light their yards and make plenty of noise to allow wildlife in the area time to move on. Along with securing food that could attract wildlife into a developed area, steps like this are important for the safety of people and wildlife.”