As a 3-year-old girl played in her Long Valley, N.J., backyard yesterday morning with Chief, one of her family’s four rescued Pit Bulls, a 400-pound bear that was well known in the neighborhood climbed over a fence.
“Usually the dogs will chase him off and he’ll climb over the fence and wait (for the dogs) to come inside,” the girl’s mom, Emily Wagner, told the Long Valley Patch. “He’s very smart.”
However, the bear wasn’t so smart yesterday.
“I looked up and the bear was about 15 feet from her and walking right toward her,” Wagner said. “The bear was between us. Chief heard her scream and immediately grabbed the bear’s back leg, at which point the bear turned and bit Chief’s face and leg.”
Wagner ran and grabbed her daughter, while the other three Pit Bulls helped Chief chase the bear away.
By the time police arrived, the bear had disappeared into the nearby woods.
Chief is okay, Wagner wrote on the Long Valley Patch Facebook page this morning.
“Fish and Game informed me that it’s mating season for bears, and they’re more active during the day,” she wrote. “Just a heads up to be vigilant with children and pets outside.”
According to the Patch, local police advised residents to call their non-emergency line to report bears coming too closely to their properties, and to call 911 in case of emergencies.
Photo via Facebook (from left: Chief, Chloe, Mack and Idget)