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Help Stop The Killing Of A Young Bear Who Attacked Couple After Their Off-Leash Dog Charged Him

Published: October 12, 2021 at 08:33 PM Author: Penny Eims

Asheville, NC – On September 29, a couple took their dog into a protected area on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Asheville. The couple broke the rules and let their dog roam off-leash, which resulted in the dog charging at a young bear in the area.

The dog’s barking agitated the bear and it resulted in the bear charging at, and attacking, the couple. In a statement, the Park Service said:

“Likely aggravated by the dog, the bear acted defensively toward the dog and the couple. Over the next several minutes, there were repeated attacks by the bear while the couple retreated with their dog to the safety of their vehicle,”

The couple drove to a hospital to be treated for minor injuries, but now the bear involved in the incident is destined to die. Wildlife officials have stated that if the correct bear is located and positively identified, it will be “humanely euthanized.”

Plans to kill the bear have not been well received by members of the public, who point out that human carelessness is to blame, not the bear’s aggression.

The couple with the dog broke the rules:

“The parkway is a sanctuary for bears, since it provides their natural, forested habitat, and hunting is prohibited. Dogs must be on a 6-foot leash on parkway land. Owners who do not leash their dogs face a possible fine.”

The couple most likely won’t face any charges, but the bear will be killed if he is identified. Does this seem fair? The bear was in his own habitat, and he reacted when aggressively charged by the dog – but he may die for having a natural reaction.

If you think this situation is wrong, and that this bear deserves to live, please sign the petition today!

Target: NC Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) along with the Chairs, Co-Chairs, and Members of the NC General Assembly Wildlife Resources House Standing Committee.


USA Today

Blue Ridge Parkway News Release on Facebook

Update October 27, 2021: Animal Victory received the following response from the letter which was submitted with the petition and signatures. Of note, we are disappointed in this response and the agency’s unwillingness to investigate the situation further to see if the couple with the dog should be facing charges.

Dear Ms. Babington and Ms. Eims,

I highly encourage you to share the BearWise information with your network. Asheville actually has a lot of high quality bear habitat in wooded areas within the city limits. But the availability of things such as bird feeders, pet food, and garbage can result in a higher density of bears than in a wilderness area. Furthermore, habituation to these human-supplied foods can result in bears losing their natural fear of humans resulting in a situation that is more dangerous for humans AND for the bears.

NC Wildlife Resources Commission

Update October 25, 2021: Animal Victory sent 17,583 signatures along with our PETITION LETTER to the following:

  • Members of the NC General Assembly Wildlife Resources House Standing Committee
  • Law Enforcement
  • Wildlife Management 
  • Proposed Regulations

Help Stop The Killing Of A Young Bear Who Attacked Couple After Their Off-Leash Dog Charged Him

18,010 signatures = 90% of goal


18,010 Viola Lönnvik Dec 17, 2021
18,009 Vitoria Clarke Dec 16, 2021
18,008 Andrea Sweeney Dec 16, 2021
18,007 Catherine Light We encroach on their territory and expect them Dec 16, 2021
18,006 ROU.LIER Denise Dec 16, 2021
18,005Anonymous If they'd followed the rules the bear would not have felt it was threatened. It's not right that the bear should suffer as the result of idiotic humans. Dec 15, 2021
18,004 Elisabeth Oie they got what they deserved. leave the poor bear alone Dec 15, 2021
18,003 Adrianna Wall Leave the bear alone. We come into their homes and act like we own everything. They barely have anywhere to go as it is, with humans constantly cutting everything down. We need to preserve wildlife before we no longer have it. Dec 15, 2021
18,002 ROSE MARIE SMITH Dec 15, 2021
18,001 Joan Sample To kill an animal that felt it needed to defend himself is morally wrong! Dec 14, 2021
18,000 iris davidson Dec 14, 2021
17,999 Carol Darlington Dec 14, 2021
17,998 sari mcconnell Dec 13, 2021
17,997 Lisa Burke Dec 13, 2021
17,996 marla cobb Dec 13, 2021
17,995 Suzanne Wiegand Dec 12, 2021
17,994 Chauncey Babcroft Dec 11, 2021
17,993 Omarina DeLeon The young bear was only trying to protect itself. The humans are solely at fault for creating this situation Please let the bear live & in peace. Dec 10, 2021
17,992 Margarida Austregesilo Dec 10, 2021
17,991 Cindy Frank Dec 10, 2021
17,990 Marcia Belzak Dec 10, 2021
17,989 Jane Kimmel Dec 09, 2021
17,988 Anita Miller Dec 09, 2021
17,987 Tracy Stessman Dec 09, 2021
17,986 Sigrid Kok Dec 09, 2021
17,985 Keith Lyle It's pretty dam stupid to kill an animal for protecting itself!!- Dec 09, 2021
17,984 Herbert E Guadron Dec 09, 2021
17,983 Patty-Jo Bellamy Dec 09, 2021
17,982 mike corsello Dec 08, 2021
17,981 Sally MARLES It is so unfair that this beautiful, innocent bear has to die for human mistakes. Please let it live!!! Dec 08, 2021