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Frederick County man and his dog attacked by bear in national park

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Steven Krichbaum and his dog were attacked by a bear on Thursday afternoon at the George Washington National Forest in Hardy County, West Virginia near Route 55 reports

According to a report from the Frederick County Sheriff's Office, Krichbaum, 59, of Staunton, Virginia and his dog were walking through the park when they encountered a mother bear with her two cubs. The bear attacked Krichbaum, and as his dog tried to protect his owner, the bear injured the dog.

Krichbaum and the dog were able to escape, returned to their car and went to a local store to call for help. The man was transported to Winchester Medical Center, and the dog was taken to a nearby veterinarian hospital.

Black bears are rarely aggressive, but they are extremely protective of their cubs. If a mother bear feels cornered, however she will attack. More than likely she will first warn her enemy by what is known as a "bluff charge" where she will huff, make puffing sounds and swat at the ground.

It you encounter a bear, keep your distance. According to Fish and Game, respect bears as being wild animals and therefore unpredictable. Maintain eye contact, speak softly and calmly to the bear while slowly backing away. Do not turn around, avert your eyes, turn your back or run away. When hiking or walking in an area known to have bears, keep your dog leashed; bears don't normally attack dogs, but will fight if they feel cornered.

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