Bear Euthanized After Attacking Woman on Trail in Simsbury

A bear that scratched a woman on trails near a baseball field in Simsbury Wednesday afternoon was shot and killed soon after the incident happened.

Officials from the State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) said the female bear found near the area where the encounter with the woman happened was shot Wednesday afternoon.

"The bear was euthanized in keeping with a policy of taking such action when a bear exhibits aggressive behavior," DEEP officials said.

The attack happened around 2 p.m. as the 41-year-old woman was hiking with her Labrador retriever on a trail west of the baseball field at Town Forest Park. When she and her pet came around a bend, they saw a bear around seven feet away, according to DEEP.

The woman yelled a couple times, trying to get the bear to leave, but it did not move.

As the woman turned to get away, the bear swiped at her and scratched her leg, officials said.

The woman suffered minor injuries and police said she did not require any medical attention.

DEEP tracked the bear using a GPS collar the animal was wearing.

Colonel Kyle Overturf, of the State Environmental Conservation Police, said the agency has specific guidelines on how to handle encounters with bears.

"This bear, under our guidelines obviously showed aggression toward humans. Based on our guidelines, based on the incident reported, based on the injuries that were observed, both by the Simsbury police and our officers on scene, the determination was made to euthanize the bear," he said.

There have been 291 reports of bear sightings in Simsbury over the last year. 

Simsbury has posted information about bear safety on its website.

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