STRATFORD, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Officers from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation are investigating a bear attack in Fulton County.
According to the DEC, 55-year-old Eric Spinner of Troy was on a walk with his dog near Stewart’s Landing when a bear attacked the small dog.
When Spinner attempted to separate the animals, the bear attacked him.
Spinner was able to hit the bear on the nose with a stick, causing the bear to run away.
Spinner then walked to the road where he and his dog were picked up by a passing motorist.
Spinner and his dog suffered bites and lacerations. Spinner’s injuries are not considered life threatening.
Spinner is currently listed in fair condition at a hospital in Utica.
The dog was taken to a local vet.
DEC ECO’s, Forest rangers and wildlife staff, with the assistance of trained bear dogs and their handlers, attempted to locate the bear through the night. Based on the extensive search, DEC believes the bear has left the area and poses no continuing threat at this time.
If you encounter a bear, DEC recommends the following tips:
- Never approach, surround or corner a bear: Bears aggressively defend themselves when they feel threatened. Be especially cautious around cubs as mother bears are very protective.
- Never run from a bear: stay calm, speak in a loud and calm voice, slowly back away and leave the area.
- Use noise to scare away bears from your campsite: yell, clap or bang pots immediately upon sighting a bear near your campsite.
- Do not throw your backpack or food bag at an approaching bear: Doing so will only encourage bears to approach and “bully” people to get food.
To report the feeding of bears or a bear encounter, contact the nearest Regional DEC Office. A list of regional offices can be found on DEC’s website.
For more on encounters with bears, CLICK HERE.