A bear who attacked a man near La Grande was euthanized Wednesday, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said. It happened after the man had shot the bear twice for harassing his chickens.
ODFW said the victim, Craig Lankford, said he shot the bear Tuesday night. Then Wednesday morning, Lankford spotted the bear again and shot at it a second time.
Shortly afterward, the bear attacked, leaving Lankford with injuries to his head and arms.
Union County Sheriff’s deputies and paramedics responded to a 911 call. They closed off roads in the Mount Emily Recreation Area, knowing the injured bear was still out there.
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Oregon State Police and ODFW moved in to find the bear. About three hours later, the bear was located and euthanized by gunfire.
ODFW said a necropsy found bullet fragments consistent with Lankford’s report, confirming it was the same bear he encountered. It did not say what kind of bear it was.
Bear attacks are rare but tend to occur when bears are wounded, when they are being fed by people and lose their natural wariness, or when they are surprised by people or their dogs, ODFW said. Oregon has not documented any fatal bear attacks.