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Medford police chief and wife recovering after killing bear that attacked them in their home

“They were clawed and bitten by a black bear."
dead bear taylor county
Posted at 4:27 PM, May 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-24 19:43:38-04

MEDFORD, Wis. — The police chief of a town in North Central Wisconsin and his wife are lucky to be alive after a bear charged into their home and attacked them.

Medford Police Chief Chad Liske declined to comment on camera, saying his family has received hateful comments for killing a bear.

The Taylor County Sheriff’s Office said they acted appropriately and that it was life or death situation.

“Miraculously, their injuries are not life threatening, but they look beat up,” said Sheriff Larry Woebbeking. “They were clawed and bitten by a black bear Friday night just after 11 p.m.”

The couple’s four kids were home at the time, but uninjured.

Emergency calls about bears near homes and businesses are common in Taylor County, but this call was different.

“They saw the bear eating from their bird feeder close to their house,” said Sheriff Woebbeking. “They just opened the back window and yelled for it to go away. They were not aggressive in any way. Typically bears will run off. But in this case, it charged through the open window and entered the home.”

911 call: Medford couple attacked by bear in their home

The bear first encountered the woman in the home.

“The husband then jumped in and was actually in a sort of wrestling match with the bear to give the wife time to scramble away,” said Sheriff Woebbeking. “She ran and got a kitchen knife and stabbed the bear as her husband was under it. It stunned the bear enough that he was able to scramble out from underneath the bear and go to the bedroom where he retrieved his firearm and shot the bear.”

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) says bears are rarely aggressive, but can be defensive when startled or when protecting cubs or a food source. In areas where bears are prevalent, people are encouraged not to put bird feeders out in the spring or summer or bring their bird feeders in at night.

“Sometimes it can be problematic if bears get too comfortable in neighborhoods, whether with bird feeders or when food and garbage is left out,” said Patrick Beringer, Area Wildlife Supervisor for the Wisconsin DNR.

Beringer says if you encounter a bear, do not take off running. Instead, back away slowly.

“If you come across the bear, you need to let it know that it’s not wanted there,” said Beringer. “Make yourself big, wave your arms, make loud noises, throw a stick at it. Typically, it will retreat.”

The DNR confirms it was a female black bear that did have a one-year-old cub with her who scurried away.

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