Fulton County

Troy man fights bear, saves dog in Fulton County park

A Troy man and his small dog both suffered non-life threatening injuries yesterday evening after a b

A Troy man and his small dog both suffered non-life threatening injuries yesterday evening after a bear attack in Fulton County, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

According to a DEC news release, the man, identified as 55-year-old Eric Spinner, was walking his dog without a leash in the Stewart’s Landing area of the Ferris Lake Wild Forest in the town of Stratford when the dog was attacked by a bear around 5 p.m.

Spinner intervened and hit the bear in the nose with a stick, causing it to run away, but not before both he and the dog suffered “bites, scratches and puncture wounds,” according to DEC. Spinner’s wounds are not considered life-threatening.

According to veterinarian Barry Spaulding at the Little Falls Veterinary Clinic, where the dog was treated, the terrier is in stable condition.

“We had to work on some injuries to the shoulder and it seems like she’ll come along from her injuries,” he said. “She lucked out. She didn’t have any chest wounds, which would have been very bad.”

Spinner was able to hitch a ride out of the park with a passing driver, where another driver stopped and called for help. The man was taken to a hospital in Utica and the dog was taken to a local veterinarian.

Environmental Conservation Officers, Forest Rangers and wildlife staff searched for the bear throughout the night with the assistance of trained bear dogs, but were unable to locate the bear.

According to the DEC release, the bear is believed to have left the area and poses no further threat.

If you encounter a bear, DEC recommends the following tips:

Never approach, surround or corner a bear: Bears aggressively defend themselves when they feel threatened. Be especially cautious around cubs as mother bears are very protective.

Never run from a bear: Stay calm, speak in a loud and calm voice, slowly back away and leave the area.

Use noise to scare away bears from your campsite: Yell, clap or bang pots immediately upon sighting a bear near your campsite.

Do not throw your backpack or food bag at an approaching bear: Doing so will only encourage bears to approach and “bully” people to get food.

To report the feeding of bears or a bear encounter, contact the nearest Regional DEC Office. A list of regional offices can be found on DEC’s website, or, read more on encounters with bears.

Categories: News

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