Bear Attacks Maine Teenager

First victim in 5 years survives with little injury

Field & Stream Online Editors

When Nick Talbot saw a female black bear munching on some birdseed in his backyard, he grabbed his camera to capture a few snapshots of the unusual visitor. But the 18-year-old from Standish, Maine quickly learned a tough lesson in what can happen when you photograph a lady's bad side, as the bruin charged Talbot before he had any time to react.

According to the Associated Press, Talbot, unlike his dog Hanna, failed to take notice of the female's two cubs in the woods nearby. Threatened by Hanna's barking, the 450-pound mother bear rushed at Talbot and knocked him down with one clean swipe. "It's unbelievable how an animal that big is that fast," Talbot told the AP. "She hit me so hard it knocked me to one side."

Friday's incident marked the first bear attack in Maine in five years. But already this year there have been several sightings around the state with reports of slaughtered pigs and sheep on farms. Schools in western Maine went as far as canceling recesses due to wandering bears. A spokesman for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife advised residents to remove birdfeeders or any other items that might entice the animals. "As long as food is available, they will return," he said.

As for Talbot, the photosensitive lady bear let him off easy. He survived Friday's attack with nothing more that a few scratches and did not require medical treatment.