WV DNR searches for bear that mauled woman, killed dog in Upshur County


TENNERTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources is searching for a black bear after it mauled a woman and killed one of her dogs outside her home in Upshur County.

Captain Doug Benson with the West Virginia DNR said Opal Gillespie, 66, of Tennerton went to let her two dogs out early Friday morning. When Gillespie turned to go back in doors, a black bear was on her deck, according to the DNR. Gillespie and one her dogs were then mauled by the bear, Benson said. Gillespie was injured following the mauling and one of her dogs was killed, according to the DNR.

Benson said Gillespie was transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Buckhannon and is expected to make a full recovery.

Division of Natural Resources officials said they are working to track the bear and said they are planning to put it down once it is captured.

Trail cam footage from the family was shared to help track the bear, and the DNR said further resources are coming from Charleston to track the animal down this afternoon.

The West Virginia DNR has tips for dealing with nuisance bears on its website.

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