Woman recovering in Youngstown following bear attack

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ORWELL, Ohio -- A wildlife official says a northeast Ohio woman is recovering from injuries sustained after being attacked yesterday in her home by a neighbor's 500-pound bear.

The victim was expected to survive, and the bear was lured out of the house and shot to death by the neighbor, a wildlife breeder, said Reno Reda of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources wildlife division.

The owner of Grand River Fur Exchange, Mark Gutman, was attempting to enter the bear's cage to clean it when the animal escaped, Reda said.

The bear walked into a neighbor's garage, Reda said. A 15-year-old girl saw the animal and fled into the house, but the bear pushed the door open behind her and followed her inside, Reda said.

The girl's mother, Rachel Supplee, 36, was attacked in a nearby room, Reda said.

The bear was about 9 years old and raised in captivity, making it unafraid of people, Reda said.

Ms. Supplee was in satisfactory condition last night at St. Elizabeth Health Center in Youngstown, Reda said. She reportedly sustained injuries to several parts of her body, but further details weren't available.

The bear was shot about 20 minutes after it escaped. Gutman immediately called authorities, as required, when the bear broke loose, Reda said.

Gutman is licensed for commercial game propagation, which allows him to breed animals and sell the offspring, Reda said. His business is in Hartsgrove Township, 50 miles east of Cleveland near the Pennsylvania border.

No charges had been filed and the Ashtabula County Sheriff's Office was reviewing the matter, Reda said. The sheriff's office didn't return a phone message last night.


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