Woman loses fingers while feeding bear

March 7, 2010 at 12:10 PM

MANITOWOC, Wis., March 7 (UPI) -- Police in Manitowoc, Wis., said a woman lost all or parts of four fingers while attempting to feed a bear at a local zoo.

Police Capt. Scott Luchterhand told the Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter that local resident Tracy Weiler, 47, apparently bypassed barriers around the Lincoln Park Zoo enclosure where the bear was being held in order to try and feed the animal Friday.

"The female was trying to feed the bear something out of a plastic bag," Luchterhand said.

Luchterhand said Weiler lost the thumb and forefinger on one of her hands during the incident, as well as a portion of her middle and ring fingers.

Lawrence Bosworth, Weiler's 51-year-old boyfriend, was also bitten by the bear while attempting to pry the animal's jaws from Weiler's hand.

Manitowoc Mayor Justin Nickels said in a release that alcohol appears to have been a factor in the incident.

Luchterhand told the Times Reporter it remains unclear which of the two bears staying in the enclosure was responsible for the attack. The animals likely will not be euthanized as a result of the incident.

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