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Bear grabs woman through fence, bites into her arm and refuses to release her during safari tour at wildlife resort

A Himalayan bear at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington, about 60 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, reached through the wire fencing and bit the female worker
UPDATED JUL 22, 2019

FARMINGTON, PENNSYLVANIA — Despite two layers of fencing between herself and the wild animal, an employee at the wildlife habitat of a Pennsylvania resort was bitten by a bear, Saturday. 

A Himalayan bear reached through the wire fencing at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington, about 60 miles southeast of Pittsburgh, and pulled the female worker closer, proceeding to bite her on the arm.

The victim was guiding a routine "safari tour" at the time.

"There were two levels of wire fencing at the bear enclosure, and the associate was standing between the two when the incident occurred," a statement from the resort said. 

Following the attack, the bear refused to let go of the employee's arm. Other employees at the scene engaged with the animal to force it to let go of the victim.

"The associate was stabilized by a nurse, and helicoptered to the trauma center at a local hospital for evaluation and treatment. The associate is stable and alert," the statement said.

As for the bear, which had been living in the facility for the past nine years, it was "not harmed in any way," Kory Young, the resort’s director of lodging, told NBC News.

He added that they will not be releasing the name of the employee at the request of her parents.

The only information about the victim was that she had been working at the facility since the past month. 

In the statement about the incident, the resort added that it had "ensured the enclosure is completely secure" and is arranging optional counseling for guests and staff who witnessed the attack.

The cause of the incident was under review. 

"We deeply regret this incident," resort president Maggie Hardy Knox said in a statement Saturday. "Our thoughts are with our injured associate, our staff and guests as we focus on ensuring they receive the finest medical attention and counseling."

According to its website, the Wildlife Academy at the resort was established in 2006 and the property feature red sheep, bears, bison, lions, tigers, and wolves, among other animals.

Advertising pamphlets for Nemacolin's $90 "safari tour" presented it as an opportunity to “experience a behind the scenes, interactive look at exotic animals,” including an array of livestock as well as wild animals, Trib Live reported.