Man fights off a black bear to protect his beagle

Man fights off a black bear to protect his beagle

(WPBN/WGTU) -- A Boyne Falls man says he had to fight off a black bear that was attacking his beagle just feet from his house.

It happened several weeks ago, but the Michigan Department of Natural Resources report just came out.

Rick Klekotka was letting his dog, Maggie May, out in the middle of the night on her cable when he says he spotted a large black bear in the yard.

“Spotted it right away before she did, and I grabbed the cable and started pulling it in, hand-over-hand," Klekotka said. "That bear ran up to the pen over there, turned around and came back and that’s when he grabbed a hold of her.”

Klekotka, a Marine Corps veteran, wasn't going to let the black bear take his beloved beagle without a fight.

He says he kicked the bear in its nose, which worked for a moment, but the bear came back again.

“When the bear came back, all I could do is just hit it as hard as I could in the nose, because I was caught in an unlikely position, stooped down," Klekotka said.

With the bear's paws still on his steps, Rick brought his dog inside.

Maggie May was left with some nasty scars, but is okay.

“A lot of times you’ll hear her in her sleep at night, letting out a yelp,” Klekotka said.

Klekotka thinks he knows why the bear was so aggressive. Days later, he saw photos on his trail camera of the bear and her cubs and he figured she was just trying to protect them.

Klekotka doesn't put out his feeders at night, and hasn't has a problem since.

“The bear was just protecting her cubs, I’m just protecting the dog," Klekotka said. "If I don’t bother the bear, the bear don’t bother me, were fine, we’ll get along okay.”

The DNR says it doesn't condone close, physical contact with black bears. If possible, it recommends things like making noise and waiving your arms from a distance to scare them off.

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