Cumberland Times-News

August 31, 2013

Black Bears Kill

Nine of the victims were younger than 10


Cumberland Times-News

— What follows is a list of fatal attacks upon humans by wild black bears in North America.

The list does not include fatalities caused by bears that were captive or had been captive. Neither does it include fatal maulings by brown, grizzly or polar bears.

The ages of the victims range from 3 to 93. Nine of the victims were younger than 10. About 30 percent of the victims were females. Not counting the deaths in Alaska, 15 were in the United States.

The sources are Wikipedia and jasperwildlife.com.

Mike Sawyers, outdoor editor

 ———

June 1881: John Dennison, 82, became Ontario’s first recorded fatality because of a bear attack. He was inspecting his bear traps at Happy Lake Isle and after finding a bear caught in one was involved in a struggle with he and the bear both dying.



1883: John Robison, age unknown, was found dead near Wilkes-Barre, Pa., where there was evidence of bear tracks and a terrible struggle.



May 19, 1901: Three children, Mary Porterfield, 3, Wilie Porterfield, 5, and Henry Porterfield, 7, were gathering flowers near their home in Job, W.Va., when they were attacked and killed. The remains of the children were found and the bear was killed.



Nov. 23, 1943: Carl Herrick, 37, was hunting near West Townshend, Vermont, where he was found dead with a blackened face and scratches. His rifle and bear tracks were nearby. The theory is that Herrick shot the bear and thought it was dead and was eventually squeezed to death after he approached the animal.



July 7, 1948: Carol Ann Pomeranky, 3, was taken by a bear outside of her home on the Marquette National Forest (now the Hiawatha National Forest) in Michigan. She was dragged 100 yards. The bear was tracked and killed.



Nov. 19, 1952: Rudolph Gaier, 50, was found dead at a remote Alaskan cabin. The conclusion is that Gaier shot the bear after it entered and, before dying, the bear fatally clawed him.



Aug. 12, 1958: Barbara Coates, 7, was picking berries near her family’s cottage near Jasper National Park, Alberta, when a bear appeared. She ran to the cottage, but the bear caught and killed her.



Sept. 6, 1959: Lyndom Hooper, 51, was fishing alone near Cadomin, Alberta. His mutilated body was found in a stream. Three days later, a forest ranger shot a bear a half-mile away. A necropsy revealed human hair in the bear’s stomach.



Aug. 16, 1963: William Strandberg, 51, was killed by a bear 160 miles west of Fairbanks, Alaska.



Sept. 17, 1964: Sidney Smith, 26, a technician on a radar line, was killed by a bear near Schefferville, Quebec. There was evidence that Smith attempted to defend himself by using a hunting knife.



Aug. 8, 1967: Susan Duckitt, 11, and a friend were picnicking by Okanagan Lake in British Columbia and encountered a bear standing on its hind feet. The girls ran, but Duckitt was caught. The bear was tracked and killed.



Oct. 1, 1968: Jack Ottertail, 53, was killed while on a walk near Atikokan, Ontario. A bear found near the body was shot and killed.



July 25, 1971: John Richardson, 31, was camping near Rocky Mountain National Park when a bear killed him. Later the bear was killed. This was the first fatal black bear attack in Colorado.



May 16, 1974: Victoria Valdez, 4, was playing 200 yards from her home at Glenwood, Wash., when she was fatally mauled.



July 1, 1977: Alison Muser, 5, was playing with her sister in Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta, when attacked. She died on the way to a Calgary hospital. The bear was killed.



May 13, 1978: Three boys, George Halfkenny, 16, Mark Halfkenny, 12, and Billy Rhindress, 15, were stalked and killed while fishing near Radiant Lake in Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario.



Aug. 14, 1980: Lee Randal Morris, 44, and Carol Marshall, 24, died near Zama City, Alberta. They were killed by the same bear in separate attacks two hours apart as they worked at an oil drilling camp.



May 21, 1983: Clifford David Starblanket, 26, a trapper near Canwood, Saskatchewan, suffered a fatal attack to his head and throat.



May 27, 1983: Melvin Rudd, 55, was killed while fishing near Nipawin Provincial Park, Saskatchewan.



July 6, 1983: Daniel Anderson, 12, was pulled from a tent while camping at La Verendrye Wildlife Reserve, Quebeck. His body was found 100 feet away.



May 26, 1991: James Waddell, 12, was dragged from a tent at Lesser Slave Lake, Alberta, and killed.



Oct. 11, 1991: Raymond Jakubauskas, 32, and Carola Frehe, 48, were setting up camp at Aglonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, when a black bear broke their necks. The bear dragged the bodies into the woods and consumed them. When police arrived five days later, the bear was shot while guarding the remains.



June 14, 1992: Sebastien Lauzier, 20, was attacked and killed while taking soil samples near Cochrane, Ontario.



July 8, 1992: Darcy Staver, 33, died at Glennallen, Alaska, after a bear entered her cabin. She and her husband fled to the roof. While Staver’s husband went for help, the bear killed her. A neighbor later killed the bear.



Aug. 10, 1993: Colin McClelland, 24, was in a trailer when a bear tore open the door and attacked him in Fremont County, Colo. The bear was later killed.



Sept. 16, 1994: Ian Dunbar, 4, was attacked in the backyard of his home at 70 Mile House, British Columbia. The bear was killed.



June 14, 1996: Sevend Satre, 53, was checking a fence line near Tatlayoko Lake, British Columbia, when he was killed.



Aug. 14, 1997: Patti McConnell, 37, was on a boardwalk at Liard River Hot Springs Provincial Park in British Columbia when she was attacked. Raymond Kitchen, 56, heard the attack and attempted to save her, but was killed as well McConnell’s son and a 20-year-old man were injured. The bear was shot while standing over the victims.



May 21, 2000: Glenda Ann Bradley, 50, was attacked and partially consumed by a mother black bear and a cub in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tenn. The bears were shot and killed while standing over the body.



July 2, 2000: Mary Beth Miller, 24, was attacked while on a biathlon training run in a wooded area on a military base near Vlcartier, Quebec. The bear was trapped and killed four days later.



June 3, 2001: Kyle Harry, 18, was at a group campsite east of Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories when fatally mauled.



Aug. 18, 2001: Adelia Maestras Trujillo, 93, died after a bear broke through a glass pane into her house at Mora, N.M. Her body was found in the kitchen. The bear was killed.



Sept. 1, 2002: Christopher Bayduza, 31, had gone for a walk near Fort Nelson, British Columbia at an oil rigging site when killed.



Sept. 29, 2002: Maurice Malenfant, 77, was camping in the Gaspe region of Quebec when killed.



June 14, 2005: Merlyn Carter, 71, was found dead in his cabin southeast of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. Carter’s son came to the cabin the day after the attack and killed the bear.



Aug. 26, 2005: Harvey Robinson, 69, was fatally mauled while picking plums near Selkirk, Manitoba. Robinson’s family was investigating later that day with an officer of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police when they were attacked. The officer shot the bear dead.



Sept. 6, 2005: Jacqueline Perry, 30, was killed at a remote campsite in Missinaibi Lake Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada. Her husband was seriously injured while using a Swiss Army knife in an attempt to protect her.



April 13, 2006: Elora Petrasek, 6, died when a bear attacked her family in a campground at Cherokee National Forest, Tenn. The bear was trapped and killed. Another bear was killed as well.



June 17, 2007: Samuel Evan Ives, 11, was taken from a family tent in American Fork Canyon, Uninta National Forest, Utah. State wildlife officials killed the bear. The family sued the U.S. Forest Service because there was no warning about the bear having entered the campground the night before. A judge awarded the family $1.95 million.



July 20, 2007: Robin Kochorek, 31, a mountain biker, was reported missing at Panorama Mountain Resort, British Columbia. A black bear was found near her corpse the next morning. The bear was killed.



May 30, 2008: Cecile Lavoie, 70, didn’t return to her cabin at LaSarre, Quebec, after a fishing trip. Her husband found a bear dragging her body into the woods.



Aug. 6, 2009: Donna Munson, 74, was killed at her home near Ouray, Colo. She had been feeding bears for a decade and had been repeatedly warned by wildlife officials to desist. A bear injured in a fight forced its way into Munson’s compound and killed her. One of the two bears killed by officials was found to have consumed the victim.



June 2011: Bernice Adolph, 72, Lillooet, British Columbia, was reported missing. Her remains were found by police dogs. There was evidence that bears fed on her body. Five suspected bears were killed and DNA tests confirmed that one had killed Adolph.



July 25, 2011, Lana Hollingsworth, 61, was attacked by a 250-pound black bear while walking her dog at a country club near Pinetop-Lakeside, Ariz. Nearly a month later and after 11 surgeries, Hollingsworth died from a brain hemorrhage.