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June 02, 2008

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Pennsylvania Bear Attack: “My Fault”

From The Patriot-News:

Denise Haldeman doesn't blame the bear that attacked her in the darkness outside her Lycoming County home May 12, injuring her and killing her dog.

"It wasn't her fault," Haldeman, 44, said Wednesday. "It was the mistakes I made. She was just being a mother. . . ."

Haldeman said she should not have gone out after dark to bring in three bird feeders, and she should have had Panda, her 12-year-old half Labrador retriever-half Australian herd dog, on a leash.


Blue Ox

I feel bad that her dog got killed, but at least she can cop to her own error.


I don't think it was completely her fault, seems like it was more of a bad luck situation. She was just retrieving her bird feeders (granted , she should have done that before it got dark) and she didn't have the dog on a leash. To me it seems just like two little things that would have no consequence at all until a negative chance event happens. I think it was just one of those things.....


Um, since when is it someone's fault for getting attacked by a wild animal outside their very own home in NEW JERSEY???!! This is not Alaska or some other rural, wild area...it's FRIGGIN NEW JERSEY!!

Wake up, people! Before you know it, we will be asked to feed the bears with our own bodies!

Mike Diehl

"Fault" is entirely the wrong word here. Haldeman bears no fault. It's irrational to claim that she should not step into her yard at night because she should have anticipated a bear attack. Nor is it the bear's "fault" for doing what bears do. Nor would it have been anyone else's fault were they to step into their yard of an evening, be rushed by a black bear, and shoot it full of holes and leave it stone dead.


Thank you! I don't know if its because our society has become so litigious or safety-paranoid, but nothing bad can ever seem to happen without everyone jumping to figure out whose fault it is. Ever hear of the old saying "Sh__ happens?"
Sometimes the world is just a rough place and we don't need to sit around and figure out "whose fault it is".

Sexy Man

Are you Serious i really hope you not First off it was in PA not in NJ.. second off i don't think it is anyones fault but your reaction is crazy.. No it's Not Alaska but if you live in an area were the are bear then you should be aware and this lady was thts why she took the blame... And Feed the Bears with our own bodies is about the Stupidiest thing i ever heard come on be serious i think you need a dose of reality and need to study up on your wildlife.. Even if it had happened in NJ not all of NJ is City life i've seen numerous bear in NJ and deer for that matter.. I think that nobody responded to your post because it's prolly the Dumbest ever posted on this site but i couldn't help myself if you don't like wild animals move to NYC or Philly or better yet move to Camden NJ then you don't have to worry about bears but rather the Drug dealer in your back yard at night.. Personally i'd take the bear..

The Sexiest man Alive


Here I am going to agree with Mike Diehl.
I don't give a rat's rear end whether I'm attacked by a bear, a drug dealer, or you name it, I'm still the one that's attacked, and suffering the consequences. I will defend myself to the best of my ability, including eliminating the danger as soon as possible.
That may be their "nature" but this is mine.
Yes, you can take precautions to not be in dangerous situations foolishly, but given that, then the attacker is the one at fault.


Bird feeders are asking for trouble -- even if you take them away. Bears will look for all the stuff the birds kick out anyway. Then they get habituated to finding food with people. The woman "found it so healing..." sounds like she had a "cosmic experience."

RJ Arena

I had bird feeders in eastern Pa, and every once in a while a bear would destroy one, but I filled them early in the morning and placed them high enough that it was not much of an issue. I don't know if having her dog on a leash would have helped in her situation, maybe it could have been worse, if she could not get the leash off her hand,etc, second guessing these things is just that. But I do agree with the above post regarding fault and blame, I like that she claimed resposibility, bit sometimes things are no ones fault, like it was said things happen.


Mike and Bob...thank you! There is no "fault" there. It was simply an unfortunate incident.

Chris Carpenter

Maybe next time it will not be her fault to carry a .357 mag to check the bird feeders.


i live near Lycoming County, pa (by the way Lycoming is not in new jersy, Scrap5000, moron) i hear a lot abouy bear attacks and i think it is usually 80% the bears fault 20% the persons.


Interesting article that begs questions, like:
Why does a woman presumably living on the edge of wilderness not understand the threat of bear attacks?
Will she carry a sidearm now?
Will she go with another human, aka "buddy system"... Wake up hubby!
Will she get another dog for another bear to kill?

She didn't listen to common sense to bring in the bird feeders, she didn't listen to emergency-room doctors to heal at the hospital. The attack was the responsibilty of the attacker (the bear). She chose not to reposibly protect herself. I bet the thought of killing the bear to save her own life never came to mind, but yet the bear didn't hesitate to protect her cubs. If this lady continues this trend she'll die by her own foolishness.

The bear needs to be killed and turned into a rug, and Mrs. Haldeman needs to find a nice apartment in the city, where it's safe.


It's the got-dam builder's fault! If they don't build houses in the area then we won't live in the area.

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