A bear that entered a home early Tuesday morning injured a 71-year-old, wheelchair-bound woman while it tried to get out, state Fish and Game officials said.
The woman, Apryl Rogers, suffered significant injuries to her head and face and was taken to Speare Memorial Hospital before being transported to Dartmouth-Hitchcok Medical Center in Lebanon for further treatment, Fish and Game Col. Kevin Jordan said.
State Police responded to Rogers’ home on Hall Brook Road about 1:15 a.m. The bear was already gone.
Fish and Game officials are using dogs and other tracking and trapping methods to locate it.
Jordan said the bear likely will have to be killed.
“Based on our experience, you can’t break them of this habit once they enter a home, put public safety at risk,” he said.
The department had received several reports recently of homes in the neighborhood that had left out items likely to attract bears and other wildlife, including unsecured garbage, free-range poultry and bird feeders.
Fish and Game officials have not yet had the opportunity to interview Rogers, but Jordan said it is far more likely that the bear injured her accidentally while trying to escape the home than that it purposefully attacked her.
“I don’t want people fearful and killing bears everywhere,” he said, adding that the best thing to do is ensure that no bear-attractants are outside. It does not appear that Rogers had any on her property.
Jordan said while the search for the bear is underway he could be certain of one thing: It was not the mother bear, nicknamed Mink, that has twice been relocated from the Hanover area.
Fish and Game is tracking Mink’s movements using a collar.
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