Bear drags deer across road in grisly scene in Pennsylvania national forest, video shows

MARK PRICE
The Charlotte Observer (TNS)
Black bear.

A driver’s act of courtesy to let a bear safely cross the road turned grisly, when he realized it was dragging a large animal along the pavement.

It happened Saturday in northwest Pennsylvania’s Allegheny National Forest and video shared by Howie Ament shows him entering a curve when the black bear appeared in the middle of the road.

As Ament slows, the “pretty good size” predator is seen with a lifeless deer locked in its jaws.

“The things you see in the Allegheny National Forest between Sheffield and Kane!” Ament wrote in a Facebook post.

His 12-second video shows the bear never lost its grip on the deer as it backed across the road, then took off running into the woods.

Ament, a Eureka Fire-Rescue Station paramedic, says it happened on Route 6 between the two towns, which are about 15 miles apart. A road sign seen in the video identifies it as a spot near the North Country National Scenic Trail.

“We weren’t real surprised to see a black bear crossing the road in that area, but it was definitely different to see it dragging a dead deer back across the road!” Ament told McClatchy News. “To me the bear looked to be 250-300 pounds.”

The video was filmed around 6:45 p.m. Saturday, he said. It has since gotten nearly 2,000 reactions and more than 900 comments since being shared on Facebook, including many from people who suspected the deer was roadkill.

“There goes the theory of playing dead to avoid a bear attack,” Louie Sudz posted.

“That’s insane! I would have been unsettled if I saw that on my drive,” Raechel Bugner wrote.

“It can drag a person away the same way that it’s dragging that deer. Don’t mess with bears especially a female (with) cubs. She will tear your head off,” Sklp Pearson wrote.

Pennsylvania is home to about 20,000 black bears, which average 200 pounds but can grow to as much as 900 pounds, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission. They have the ability to smell food “from over a mile away,” the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports.

Allegheny National Forest is just over 500,000 acres “in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains,” the USDA says.