He got into a fight with a Louisiana black bear Tuesday night, according to his owner, Marvin Ellis.
The hunting dog, who lives on Kem Street, sustained injuries to his left hind leg from the thigh to the paw, receiving about about 100 stitches,.
Ellis says he knows which of the four bears that roam his neighborhood is the culprit.
“We know which one attacked him. He weighs about 500 pounds … It’s actually the same bear that charged at me last year,” he said.
Maria Davidson, state Wildlife and Fisheries large carnivore program manager, said “the dog that was injured has a history of chasing bears. We’ve warned those residents numerous times in the last year.”
She also said that while bears can be predatory, she doesn’t believe that was the case last week.
“Bears can be predatory. They are typically not very predatory in Louisiana, and that’s not what happened in this case. (Chesapeake Bay retrievers) are bold dogs. That’s in their nature. It’s part of what makes them such a good hunting dog. It’s a typically aggressive breed. The dog took the fight to the bear in this case,” Davidson said.
She added that a neighbor saw the dog confront a bear earlier in the day, but no one witnessed the actual attack.
Davidson said there have been ongoing problems in the area, but it’s because the bears are looking for a source of food which is readily available in neighborhoods.
When residents don’t comply with requests to use their bear-proof garbage cans, or overstuff them and leave the tops open, the easy food source high in calories attracts the bears, she said.
Another high calorie food source is dog food left outside.
“The residential area south of tracks in Patterson has so much garbage available to bears that it’s impossible for them to resist,” Davidson said.
It’s the time of year where there is a natural food shortage, which is why bears den anyway. On the coast, the bears are so thin going into this season, it’s impossible for them to den, Davidson explained.
“There are some people who are very diligent about any attractant and then they are upset because their neighbor doesn’t take the same precautions,” Davidson said.