Bear bites staffer during safari tour at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort |

Bear bites staffer during safari tour at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort

Deb Erdley
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort

A guided safari tour through Nemacolin Woodlands Resort took a dangerous turn Saturday morning when a Himalayan bear reached through a wire fence and bit a Nemacolin employee’s arm.

A spokesman for Nemacolin said resort associates had to engage the bear to get it to release the employee’s arm. The employee, who was not identified, was stabilized by a nurse at the scene and airlifted to a local hospital trauma center for treatment.

Nemacolin spokesman Kory Young would not say where the victim was taken but said they were alert and stable.

The $90 guided safari is advertised in Nemacolin pamphlets as an opportunity to “experience a behind the scenes, interactive look at exotic animals,” including sheep, goats, wolves, tigers, lions and buffaloes.

Young said the bear has been at Nemacolin for nine years. He said there are two levels of wire fencing at the bear enclosure, and the Nemacolin employee was standing in between the two fences when the incident occurred.

Nemacolin Woodlands Resort has ensured the bear enclosure is completely secure, Young said. He said Nemacolin is arranging optional counseling for guests and staff who witnessed the incident.

Resort officials are reviewing the incident to determine what caused it.

“We deeply regret this incident. Our thoughts are with our injured associate, our staff and guests as we focus on ensuring they receive the finest medical attention and counseling,” said Maggie Hardy Knox, president of Nemacolin Woodlands Resort.

Deb Erdley is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Deb at 724-850-1209, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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