A Minneapolis woman was attacked Friday morning by a black bear outside a cabin near Nisswa and sustained some serious injuries.

Cass county Sheriff's Office said the 65 year old woman went outside to check on her barking dog and probably startled the bear.  "She was struck by the bear in the chest and arm, and knocked to the ground," the sheriff's office said.

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According to fox9news.com the woman's family heard the commotion and ran out and scared the bear away. The woman was taken to the hospital in Brainerd where they treated injuries to her chest, back and arm.

Black bears are not known to usually be aggressive and this was only the 10th incident involving a black bear seriously injuring a a person since 1987.

"Bears that feel comfortable living near people may become more unpredictable when faced with a stressful situation, such as a dog showing up unexpectedly," the DNR said in a statement Saturday afternoon. "Each year in North America, there are thousands of interactions between people and black bears without incident."

The Cass County Sheriff's Office and the DNR issued some tips to prevent dangerous encounters with black bears.

  • Keep your grills clean.
  • Don't feed your pets outdoors.
  • Keep things like birdseed out of reach of the bear
  • Watch from a safe distance or from inside to assess why it is there (for example, is there a food source like birdseed attracting it?).
  • Wait and see if the bear leaves on its own. If the bear does not leave on its own but approaches (e.g., comes up on the deck or puts its paws on windows or doors), it’s time to try to scare it away: boldly shout, bang pots, slam doors, or throw something.
  • Try to appear non-threatening.
  • Speak to the bear in a calm tone and slowly back away. Do not run.
  • Carry bear spray where bear may be encountered.
  • If the bear retreats, leave the area immediately.

"Sometimes bears exhibit a quick burst of aggression to defend against a perceived threat. The closer you are to the bear when it becomes aware of your presence, the more likely it is to exhibit defensive behavior," the sheriff's office said. "This behavior is intended to intimidate and scare away the threat. It may pop its jaws, swat at the ground while blowing or snorting, and it may even bluff charge toward you. The bear is communicating to you that you are too close and it wants you to leave. This is not the time to argue with the bear."

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