Black bear ‘swatted’ dog out of its way as it approached woman, TN officials say

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A Tennessee woman’s dog got between her and a female black bear “aggressively” approaching them just feet outside their front door, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency said Monday.

The woman told the authorities that as she stepped outside for a walk the night of May 31, she immediately noticed the bear and screamed for help as it moved toward her, outlets report.

Her dog tried standing up to the bear, but was “swatted” away by the larger animal, which then continued advancing toward the owner, the agency said in a statement, WATE reported.

Hearing the screams, a man came out of the house with a 9mm handgun and began firing, fatally wounding the bear, according to the outlet.

He said he only intended to scare the bear by shooting the ground in front of it, but discovered it dead the next day in a woodlot by the house, WVLT reported.

Though the woman said she saw no other bears around during the encounter, WVLT reported, three cubs belonging to the bear showed up later and were found hanging around the sow’s body.

The cubs, which were between 4 to 5 months old, according to WBIR, have been taken in by Appalachian Bear Rescue, to be cared for until they are ready for release into the wild.