Dog dies after saving owner from bear attack

By Cottage LifeCottage Life


Photo by Tom Reichner/


We’ve all heard of dogs referred to as “man’s best friend,” but after a recent black bear attack in Thunder Bay, Ontario, the canine’s claim to fame has been brought to a whole new level.

While on a walk with his two dogs in Ontario’s Sand Bar Provincial Park this past Saturday afternoon, 42-year-old Trevor Miller was attacked by a mature black bear.

According to a report by The Canadian Press, Miller’s schnauzer attempted to fend off the bear, allowing his owner to escape.

Miller made it to a park ranger station where he was treated with non-life threatening injuries before being transported to a hospital in Dryden, Ontario. While he’s since been released from the hospital, his dog died following the conflict.

The bear is also dead. It was shot by park officials, and the Ministry of Natural Resources has sent it to Guelph to be tested for rabies and to confirm it was the bear from the attack.

See “How to deal with bears” for tips on how to avoid your own human-bear conflict.


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Aug. 8, 2013

3:25 pm

Get with it all you southern urbanites! Black bears are large predatory animals that have lost their fear of humans because we make it too easy for them to feed from our garbage. As they have lost their fear of humans they can be even more dangerous. The bear in question likely did not have rabies but became a predatory bear that looked upon humans as another food source and had to be put down. A tragic necessity. By the way if you ever see a polar bear in the wild your name is "lunch". Unless you have a big gun and know how to use it.


Aug. 8, 2013

9:24 am

Fact: Bears rarely get can happen yes, but it is rare. here also is a good article on bear facts/myths : While I am not a proponent of hunting anything I do agree there are more bears than usual since they stopped the spring bear hunt but I still believe the fault is ours not the bears. We do the encroaching, we take away their habitat and thus their food supply, we need to do our homework and not provoke these attacks. Are there going to be rogue bears? Of course. But the chances of that are slim compared to the number of bears who will turn in the opposite direction of we make noise etc to warn them of our presence.


Aug. 8, 2013

6:04 am

We have lived in bear country for years. It's not that we are encroaching into bear country, it's that there are a lot more bears since the spring bear hunt ban. People have many bear encounters and usually bears run away before you can blink an eye. Bears that attack humans will most likely do it again and need to be put down . It's no different than a dog that attacks humans, it can't be tolerated. It sucks for the animal and yes it's our fault, but one can't be expected to just suck it up while a dangerous bear is running around in the woods.


Aug. 7, 2013

9:32 pm

The bear has to be killed because there is no way to test for rabies in a living animal. The virus is determined through examining brain tissue. Had the owner not been attacked, the bear may have been spared, but there is absolutely no time to waste in quarantining a bear if a human being has possibly been infected. While I largely agree with your summary of the human population encroaching on land that has largely been forestland, the provocation threshold for a bear is a lot shorter than it is for an animal like a fox or a wolf. Most wildlife in Ontario forests ducks out of sight at the slightest scent of a human. A bear doesn't do that. While I am sad that the bear had to be put down, I absolutely rather it dead than have a full blown case of rabies in a human host.


Aug. 7, 2013

10:08 am

I understand how awful this is. A man is attacked, his dog is dead, what I dont get is why the bear has to be killed. It is we humans who are intruding on the bear's space. We have encroached on their habitat so much that they now find themselves living side by side so to speak with humans. Humans who by the way do all kinds of stupid things which attract bears! Then we kill the bear because it attacks.. It's call nature. The bear is doing what bears do! Humans need to educate themselves more on bear habitat, bear habits and stop trotting through bear country like it's central park! They live's humans who need to smarten up..not destroying a bear because it's doing what mother nature put it on this earth for.

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