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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Brutal Bear Attack Caught on Home Camera, Man 'Inches' Away from Mauling

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On the morning of June 14, David and Jessica Aungst of Nesquehoning, Pennsylvania, got the fright of a lifetime when a bear attacked their dogs.

The couple knows they live in bear country and shared that they see bears several times a week, but on this particular Monday morning, a mother bear and her cub had posted themselves right in the front yard.

“This morning at 5, David let the dogs outside like he always does,” Jessica shared in a Facebook post on June 14. “He went back inside to the bathroom and heard animal noises, growling, and whining. He ran outside and saw the bear. The momma bear and her cub were in our front yard.

“Maverick chased the mom under the deck and cornered her where we believe the bear attacked him. The bear broke through the lattice and went around the corner to run right into Cooper where he then got attacked as well.

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“David yelled at the bear and it stopped attacking Cooper and then lunged at David. Then ran off.”

It was the Aungst’s black Labrador, Maverick, who first sounded the alarm and consequently got the most injured.

“Maverick walked around our backyard, around our pool, and then all of a sudden, just started darting to the front tree right here,” Aungst said, according to WNEP-TV.

Video from a surveillance camera showed more details about the incident, including capturing the heart-stopping moment the bear threatened David. But their attention quickly turned to their dogs.

“We were focused on Cooper because we knew at that point that he was attacked,” Jessica said. “He was bleeding, so we decided to try to stop the bleeding on him. And then we realized that there was blood on our dresser in our bedroom, and we noticed that Maverick was also injured.”

Maverick and Cooper, a 12-pound Pomeranian and poodle mix, both had to be taken to the vet. Maverick ended up with 11 staples to close gashes along the back of his thigh, and Cooper ended up getting three staples as well.

The couple is now concerned that others might also experience run-ins with these bold bears, and Jessica said she has been in contact with the Pennsylvania Game Commission.

“We are in the woods, so we expect it, but unfortunately, it’s becoming kind of a nuisance at this point that there’s so many,” Jessica explained. “This could have been a child; it could have been my husband, at that point, you know he did — the bear did lunge at him. He was inches, pretty much, away from the bear.”

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Thankfully the dogs are healing well, and the family is still whole.

“Happy Father’s Day to the best dog dad ever,” Jessica wrote in a Father’s Day appreciation post on Facebook. “The way you love our dogs shows me how much you will love our child one day. Not many could say they chased off a bear to save their children.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking