A woman in New Jersey was taken to the hospital this week after she was attacked by a bear while venturing outside her home to check the mail.
The attack happened Wednesday near a Christmas tree farm in Lafayette Township as the 34-year-old woman walked along Gorney Road on her way to the mailbox, WPVI-TV reported.
She reportedly spotted three black bears nearby when one of them charged and attacked her, causing injuries to her right arm and along the right side of her body.
Thankfully, a neighbor who witnessed the attack was able to scare the bears off using a car horn, potentially saving the woman from more serious injury.
The woman, who has not been identified in local news reports, was taken to the hospital for treatment and later released.
According to CBS News, state officials said the bear involved was likely one or two years old and weighs 150 to 200 pounds.
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection was notified about the incident and has dispatched officers to lay bear traps to catch the animal. If captured, the animal will be euthanized per state policies.
Sussex County residents told CBS News that the area's bear population has skyrocketed following the state's termination of the annual bear hunt.
According to New Jersey DEP statistics, state fish and wildlife biologists estimate that the number of bears that populate the area north of Interstate 78 and west of Interstate 287 shot up to 3,158 from 2,208 between 2019 and 2020 alone.
Lafayette Township is located in a more rural area of the state just over an hour northeast of New York City.
Bears are not generally considered aggressive toward humans, and bear attacks on humans are extremely rare. However, state officials warned that any encounter with such a massive and powerful animal could be life-threatening.
If such an encounter should occur, officials advise residents to avoid direct eye contact with the animal and slowly back away. To scare a bear away, one should make loud noises by shouting and clapping and make sure the animal has an escape route so that it doesn't feel trapped or cornered.
The Wednesday incident marks the first bear attack on a human in New Jersey in over two years. In 2020, an 82-year-old man reportedly received more than 30 stitches after being attacked by a bear in West Milford.
Woman mauled by bear while checking her mailyoutu.be