Update: DEP says bear in Sparta, NJ attack to be euthanized when caught
SPARTA — The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection said a black bear that first attacked a dog, then its elderly owner, will be euthanized if Division of Fish and Wildlife officials are able to capture it.
That statement was given by DEP spokesman Larry Hajna to NJ.com, in an update that further reported the 81-year-old woman was bitten on the leg Monday night and that the dog, an English Springer Spaniel, died.
Hajna said the report of the bear's "aggressive behavior" classified it as "Category 1," according to NJ.com.
"Bears deemed Category 1 are trapped and euthanized as soon as possible to protect the public and to eliminate further damage to property and agricultural crops," Hajna's statement said.
The NJ.com report said the bear, believed to be female, weighed "at least 400 pounds," and was one of two eating trash the woman had put out for Tuesday pickup when she let her dogs outside. The other bear ran off, and investigators said a second dog was not hurt.
The woman was taken to Newton Medical Center for treatment of her injuries, and released.
Patrick Lavery is New Jersey 101.5's afternoon news anchor. Follow him on Twitter @plavery1015 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.