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Bear attacks couple picnicking at Blue Ridge Parkway site

ASHEVILLE — A couple having a picnic on the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina has survived multiple bear attacks which it says may have been triggered by their barking dog, the National Park Service said.

black bear
Pete Nuij
A couple having a picnic on the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina has survived multiple bear attacks which it says may have been triggered by their barking dog.

The park service said in a news release that the couple were in the parking lot of the Folk Art Center near Asheville on Wednesday when they were alerted to the bear by their dog, news outlets reported.

Officials say the dog, which was not on a leash, ran toward the bear, which officials think may have aggravated the bear. The couple was attacked over the next several minutes before retreating to their car with their dog, the news release said.

The couple were able to drive to an Asheville hospital, where they were treated for their injuries and released, according to officials, who didn't reveal the extent of their injuries.

Multiple sections of the parkway were closed. The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and National Park Service were working together to capture the bear, officials said, adding that the bear will be euthanized when it is caught.

The parkway covers 469 miles in western Virginia and North Carolina, according to the park service.

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