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Woman seriously injured in black bear attack in Minnesota, officials say

<i>Mapbox</i><br/>A woman sustained serious but not life-threatening injuries after being attacked by a bear near Gull Lake in Minnesota.
A woman sustained serious but not life-threatening injuries after being attacked by a bear near Gull Lake in Minnesota.

By Raja Razek and Zoe Sottile, CNN

(CNN) — A woman staying at a cabin in Nisswa, Minnesota, was seriously injured when a black bear “swiped” at her early Friday morning, according to local officials.

The woman was attacked when she let her dog outside the cabin shortly after midnight, according to a news release from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

“She went into the yard to check on the dog and the bear swiped at her, striking her in several places,” and left the area after the incident, the release said.

The woman’s injuries were “serious but not life-threatening” and she was treated and released from a hospital, according to the release.

The encounter marks the first reported complaint of bear activity in the area this spring, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Staff at the department believe “the bear likely was startled by the quick appearance of the dog in the middle of the night and then swatted the woman as a way to defend itself.”

Conservation officers are “monitoring the area for bears that may pose a threat to public safety,” according to the release, and noted “black bears are rarely aggressive and attacks on people are uncommon.”

It is the tenth documented bear attack to cause serious injuries to a person in Minnesota since 1987, according to the department. None of the attacks have caused human death.

Black bears are the only bears found in Minnesota, according to the Department of Natural Resources’ website. Adults can range in weight from 150 to 500 pounds.

Around 12,000 to 15,000 black bears make their homes in Minnesota, the department confirmed. Licensed hunters typically kill around 3,000 of the bears yearly.

Nisswa is located in north central Minnesota, around 150 miles from the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul.

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