According to a story from the Associated Press, a Montana woman fended off a 200-pound black bear that was attacking her 12-year-old collie with the nearest weapon she could find – a piece of zucchini.
“The bear growled and was very aggressive and tried to come inside of her back door,” Missoula County Sheriff’s Lt. Rich Maricelli said. “She was able to stop the pursuing bear by improvising.”
That improvisation took the form of a 12-inch-long zucchini the woman had harvested from her own garden earlier that day. She apparently threw the zucchini from a distance of about three feet and hit the bear squarely on the nose. This was enough to dissuade the bear from continuing the attack and get it to leave.
Both the collie and the woman escaped without major injuries. The woman received minor scratches on her leg, where the bear swiped at her. The dog didn’t seem to have any injuries but “was a bit shaky”, Maricelli said.
State officials continue to look for the bear in and around Frenchtown, Montana, where the attack took place.
Bear attacks have increased this year, mainly due to the scarcity of whitebark pine nuts, their main source of protein while preparing for hibernation. If you live in or near an area of the country that is known to be home to black bears or grizzly bears, make sure you know basic bear safety tips, including what to do if you encounter one.