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Woman injured, dog killed in bear attack in Sussex County

SPARTA TOWNSHIP, NJ (Sussex County) – An 81-year-old woman was injured and her dog was killed in a bear attack Monday evening in Sparta Township, police said.

On January 3, at around 7:00 p.m., officers responded to Echo Drive in Sparta for a report of a female being attacked by a bear, police said.

An officer arrived on scene and met with the 81-year-old woman, that was at her neighbor’s house, and was reporting injuries to her head and leg after being bitten and scratched by a bear that had been attacking her dog, police said.

The incident happened after the woman had put out her garbage earlier for Tuesday pickup. When she let her dogs out, there were two bears that had torn open the garbage bags and were sitting there eating the garbage and they headed toward the bears, police said.

The woman reported that the bigger bear ran toward the woods, but the other bear stood its’ ground and swatted at the English Springer Spaniel, knocking it to the ground, police said.

She ran toward the bear yelling and attempted to get her dog away from the bear and the bear bit and scratched her. The bear picked up her dog and dragged it into the woodline, with her other dog in pursuit, police said.

Officers located the mortally injured dog and transported it to the animal hospital, where it succumbed to its’ injuries, police said.

The woman was then transported to Newton Medical Center to be treated for her injuries. The victim was released and received several stitches to her leg and given antibiotics for her injuries, police said.

New Jersey Fish and Game wardens were contacted and arrived at the Sparta Police Police Station on Tuesday morning to start their investigation and attempt to locate the attacking bear, police said.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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