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A Montana woman fended off a charging bear on her back porch early Thursday by using the first weapon she could reach — a piece of zucchini.
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The woman was stirred after midnight by a tussle in the backyard of her home near Frenchtown, Missoula County Sheriff's Lt. Rich Maricelli said. She went to investigate and found a 200-pound black bear attacking one of her two dogs, a 12-year-old collie.
The woman stood at her back door and screamed to divert the bear's attention from the dog. She told police the bear then charged her.
"The bear growled and was very aggressive and tried to come inside of her back door," Maricelli said.
The bear took a swipe at her with its paw and tore her jeans. The woman jumped back and grasped the nearest object on her kitchen counter inside the doorway — a 12-inch-long zucchini she had harvested earlier from her garden.
She flung the zucchini at the bear from a distance she estimated to be 3 feet. The vegetable bopped the bruin on the top of its head and the animal fled, Maricelli said.