Sharon Flannery was attacked by a 200-pound black bear while defending her dog Wednesday morning in West Hartford, Conn.

Flannery let one of her dogs, Maggie, out into the backyard early that morning. Soon after, her daughter yelled to her that there was a bear in the backyard, and she opened the back door to let Maggie in. The dog came running in from the neighbor’s yard, hopped the fence, and “bee-lined it into the house,” Flannery told NBC Connecticut.

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The black bear was close behind, chasing the dog, and tried to force its way into the house. Flannery kicked the bear to keep it from entering the house and screamed before it fled with its two cubs, she told WFSB. She suffered from scratch marks and puncture wounds on her right shin after kicking the bear, which she did not notice until after the bear had run away and she was safely in her home. Flannery has been treated for her injuries.

Flannery called the police, and they responded with officers from the State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (D.E.E.P.). D.E.E.P. officers located and tranquilized the black bear and her cubs. The mother bear was euthanized so that it could be tested for rabies due to Flannery’s injuries. D.E.E.P. determined that the cubs were old enough to be released into the wild on their own.

According to D.E.E.P. spokesperson Dwayne Gardner, this same bear was tagged for its aggressive behavior three years ago after it killed a dog. The bear was relocated, but Gardner did not have information as to where the original incident took place.

Black bears are typically not aggressive toward humans unless their cubs are threatened, making this an unusual occurrence. Though usually known as shy, black bears can lose their fear of humans if they regularly find food near houses. Having become more common in the area over the last ten years, Gardner advised that residents not put bird feeders or leave pet food outside, and to be more careful when letting out their pets.

“It was definitely the scariest thing that’s ever happened to me,” she told NBC Connecticut.

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