Pennsylvania man attacked by a bear inside of his garage

A Pennsylvania man’s peaceful evening turned into a terrifying ordeal when he was unexpectedly attacked by a bear in his own garage. John Swartz, 60, and his wife Lori, 59, were enjoying a quiet night at their home outside Danville on July 27th when they had a life-threatening encounter with a bear. Swartz had gone to turn off a hose he had left running to fill an inflatable pool, unaware that a bear had wandered into the garage just moments before.

Without warning, Swartz found himself thrown against shelving units, hearing a menacing growl that confirmed his worst fear – he was face to face with a bear. In a desperate attempt to escape, he turned to flee, but not before the bear bit him on the head. Despite the pain, Swartz managed to stumble back towards the house. His wife, alarmed by his scream, met him at the door. She quickly dialed 911 as he tried to stop the bleeding from his head.

As they waited for the ambulance, Swartz glanced out the window and saw the bear, a 250-pound (114 kilogram) creature, casually strolling past their RV. At the hospital, doctors confirmed that his head injuries were superficial bite marks. Authorities took his shirt, which bore two large paw prints on the shoulders, for DNA testing. The Pennsylvania Game Commission also set up a trap baited with doughnuts in an effort to capture the bear.

Reflecting on the incident, Swartz acknowledged that the bear’s actions were understandable. He had unintentionally surprised the animal, leaving it with only one escape route – through him. Since the attack, Swartz and his wife thoroughly scan their surroundings before stepping out, especially if it’s 8:30 PM or later.

Encounters between humans and bears are not uncommon in Pennsylvania, particularly in rural areas. The state’s bear population has been steadily increasing, leading to more frequent interactions. The Pennsylvania Game Commission advises residents to secure their garbage, remove potential food sources, and avoid leaving pet food outside, as these can attract bears. In the event of a bear encounter, experts recommend making oneself appear larger, making noise, and slowly backing away.