Afton Woman Fights Off Black Bear

Afton, VA - An Afton woman who came face to face with a black bear opened up about her terrifying experience.Lorelei Pulliam says she found the bear on her property feeding on her pot belly pig on Friday. Pulliam and her husband have more than 140 rescued pigs on their farm. When she saw a 400 pound black bear hovering over her pig Gordon, she says she didn't think twice to save him. Pulliam was inside her home around 6:15 Friday evening when she heard deafening squeals coming from the farm. "I've never heard a scream like it. Every other pig on the property all 140 were barking," Pulliam said. Pulliam says she figured a loose dog had gotten on to the property, but when she walked closer to the creek she says she saw a large black bear hovering over her pig Gordon. "And then I started throwing things at him and picking up sticks. Then he got off of Gordon so then I knew I had to move him out," Pulliam said. Pulliam says she chased the bear down the creek and even hopped over a fence to chase him down ever further. "There is no thought process, there is no thinking. It's just this is my mission. I got to get this bear out of here and help my friend Gordon"Unfortunately, Gordon succumbed to his injuries. Wildlife Center of Virginia president Ed Clark says it all goes back to the acorn shortage. "In this case the land owner did the right thing. Noise, throwing things at the bear and making as much racket as possible... and the bears will run," Clark explained. Last winter, the acorn crop failed almost completely, leaving the black bears hungry. "So a lot of them came out of the woods, came into town. They came around farms and around homes. That's really where a lot of our conflict situations have begun," Clark said. Clark says in many cases where bears are spotted near homes, someone in the area is most likely feeding them. He says to deter the bears make sure there isn't any food left out for it to eat. Pulliam says they believe the same bear attacked her neighbor's sheep last spring. In the meantime, Pulliam and her husband have rounded up their pigs and put them in an enclosure where they can keep an eye on them. The Virginia Game and Inland Fisheries Department has issued a kill permit, but they are looking for other means to deal with the bear.