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Field reports: Wife aids husband in bear attack

Sun., Sept. 26, 2010

WILDLIFE – The wife of a man seriously injured Sept. 17 in a black bear attack near Lake Wenatchee probably saved her husband from worse injury by shouting and keeping the animal at bay, Washington Fish and Wildlife experts say.

“Black bear attacks on humans are rare, and this bear appears to have been exceptionally aggressive” said Donny Martorello, state carnivore specialist. “The victim’s wife appears to have done everything right – she shouted, stood her ground and attempted to drive off the bear. Those actions likely prevented even worse injury.”

John Chelminiak of Bellevue, was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle following the attack.

State officers killed a bear – a 148-pound female without cubs – a few hours later about 100 yards from the attack site.

Fish and Wildlife officials said they receive more than 400 black bear complaints a year, ranging from glimpses of bears to encounters.

But a poor huckleberry crop appears to be making this an especially problematic fall, especially in Montana, where wildlife officials say they have in the past two weeks captured at least five grizzly bears that were searching for food too close to homes in northwestern Montana. Four were released; one was euthanized.

Staff and wire reports

Salmon dinner helps advocates

CONSERVATION – The fourth annual Wheat, Wine & Wild Salmon Dinner is set for Wednesday, 6 p.m., at Hill’s Restaurant and Lounge, 401 W. Main.

The fundraiser for Save Our Wild Salmon, advocates of Snake River fisheries recovery, features locally grown food in a five-course dinner prepared by chef Dave Hill.

Tickets: www.brownpaper

Info: 747-2030.

Rich Landers

Panel discusses lead restrictions

FISHING –The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission will hold a hearing on possible restrictions on lead fishing tackle during its Friday- Saturday meeting in Olympia.

Proposals call for lead restrictions at 13 northern Washington lakes where there are nesting loons.

An advisory group will report on risks posed to loons that ingest lead fishing tackle. Recommendations will be made.

Written comments will be accepted through Nov. 19.

Info: conservation/loons/

Rich Landers


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