Sudbury area bear attack

by Jerry Grozelle | August 1, 2012

sudbury area - black-bear-dreamtimeA Markstay woman required stitches and rabies shots after being attacked by a black bear early on the morning of July 16, 2012.

Sirkka Koivuranta, 59, was walking her 12-year-old lab, Misty, at the time. Koivuranta set off an air horn when she saw the bear, causing it to leave momentarily. “It decided to come back and that’s when it jumped me,” she said. “When he jumped on me, his jaws were close to my face.”

During the attack, she yelled at the dog to run home, and when it obeyed, the bear took chase. She then hid behind some bushes. She says the bear gave up on the dog, looked her way, and ran off.

The local health unit, concerned about the circumstances of the attack, ordered the rabies treatment.

“There were so many ifs about why this bear attacked,” Koivuranta said. “I didn’t see any cubs, or maybe it was a bear that its mother never trained to hunt, I don’t know. It looked really rough and skinny. I told the MNR that, to me, it didn’t look healthy.”

Koivuranta has walked that area for nine years and has seen bears on several occasions. The air horn has always scared them off, until this incident.

It occurred on the start of her holidays while her granddaughter was staying with her. “Thank God I didn’t have my granddaughter with me,” she said. “It could have been worse.”

An MNR live trap that was placed in the area was removed on July 23, 2012 after no bears were caught.

MNR’s Jolanta Kowalski says Sudbury-area technicians speculate that it was a young bear that reacted to the presence of the dog. “Although the dog was on a leash, bears will charge a dog if they feel threatened or surprised,” she said. “The lady saw the bear from about 12 feet, which is pretty close, so the dog was likely the reason for the event of the bear barrelling over her.”

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