Bear Attacks, Kills Family’s Prize Rabbits Three Times

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

NORTH CENTRE TOWNSHIP -- A family in Columbia County is shocked after three bear attacks since last week left 16 of their prized rabbits dead.

Tony Shiner showed Newswatch 16 the damage inside what he calls ‘the bunny barn’ outside his North Centre Township home.

Twice last week, a bear broke in, attacked and killed the family's prize-winning rabbits.

"I mean they could do a lot of damage. I thought it was maybe a sow and her cubs playing that's why it was so, but bears are bears, so, “ said Shiner.

The Shiners say last week, the game commission set a trap and caught a bear, then released it near Millville, about 20 miles away.

This happened again: a bear smashed through the window and killed more rabbits.

In all, after 3 attacks, 16 of the family's nearly 30 award-winning rabbits were dead.

Madison Shiner, 15, has been breeding and showing rabbits for 4 years now.

They are her pride and joy.

She lost her favorites in the attacks.

"A lot of these guys have won many trophies, so much money, I deal with them every single day. I've known most of these guys since they were born so to have them just come and die all of a sudden it really upsetting and disappointing,” said she said.

"She's got names for them all, they're yeah, every rabbit has a name. When we're taking cages apart, she's out in the driveway crying. It's Neptune, it's Jupiter, it's whoever, whoever,” said Tony Shiner.

The Shiners say friends have stepped up, offering to give them other rabbits.

The family is reinforcing the bunny barn by adding bars to the window and clearing out the mangled cages and mess inside.

Until all that's done, the rabbits will be moved.

"Some are going up to my dad's barn up in Nescopeck and I think the other ones are headed inside for a little bit until we get all the bars situated,” said Tony Shiner.

The game commission will be setting another bear trap this week at the Shiner’s home.


  • Colleen Schulze

    I am sorry about what has happened to this family .They have not only had to put up with the bear attack but the attack from people who refuse to understand rabbits are used for many different things they can be used as theraputic pets.But they are also livestock some are used as meat some as fur. They are also used by 4h ffa and rabbit clubs to teach those who go on to be our future farmers and even our future wildlife educator’s .The rabbits that this person raises look to be Harliquins which is an old breed. If they and other breeders would not raise them they would disappear. This story was not written as a platform for those of you who think breeders are wrong.And that rabbits were domesticated so people can have pets they were domesticated so people would have food and clothing just like cows and plgs. You should be ashamed of your selfs these people dont have to deal with just the 4 legged amimal who dose not know better then to attack the rabbits But the 2 legged people who should have better manners then attack someone they dont even know because you are so closed minded that you feel you have the right to attack someone because they do not believe the same as you.!

  • Kim j.

    How about keeping the poor defenseless animals INSIDE!! They aren’t meant to withstand the Pennsylvania winters outside!

  • mamam.

    How about some compassion for a 15-year-old who raised those rabbits. Sure, bears will attack other animals, but let’s not be hateful to a young lady who is at least trying to do something good. Instead of being negative, why don’t you help her with the work she has to do to protect her other rabbits.

    • Lloyd Schmucatelli

      She just got a crash course in life.

      Here’s the lesson:

      Sometimes you build something great and someone comes along and destroys it. After repeatedly FAILED attempts at rebuilding the way you want, you rebuild it the way that it can’t be destroyed.

      Good enough oh ye bleeding heart??

    • P

      How about some compassion for those poor rabbits, who were left defenseless and vulnerable in horrible, small wire cages that look like they were already living in rabbit hell before the bear even came. People should not be breeding animals in ignorance.

  • P

    If she loved her rabbits so much, why were they in wire cages in a barn? And why didn’t she move them after the first attack? Breeders *smh* That’s no way to keep rabbits in the first place. Sorry for the rabbits, but not the ignorant breeder.

    • CeeMe

      Rabbits, guinea pigs and similar animals need wire at least on the bottom of the cage, so they can poop, without having to walk in it.

      • P

        I’m sorry but that is completely inaccurate, and the type of bad information often spread by breeders who do not have the rabbits’ best interests at heart. These are vulnerable little animals; it’s not about winning prizes and making money. I have worked with rabbit rescue for 10 years. Never keep them on wire. Wire is BAD for their feet. They use a litter box to poop. They need to walk on SMOOTH surfaces or carpet.

  • cheap tightwad

    Bears get a better treatment than humans. A twenty mile ride. Not that many hours ago there was a story about a man who put his cat out of its misery he didn’t fare as well.

    • Cheeky bear

      I checked with the Game Commission, you’re 100% correct. Just call them after you kill the invading animal and they’ll come pick up the carcass.

  • warningfakenews

    Bear apparently found an all night bear restaurant fully stocked with McBunny snacks. Bear also seems to remember just where that restaurant is located for the future.

  • 😊

    Just another ridiculous story. I guess they needed to take up some air time with something. YAWN!!! Get some real news . How about some updates on how the people in Texas and Florida are making out after Harvey and Irma. We’ve heard enough about Puerto Rico.

  • Lloyd Schmucatelli


    This just in!! A bear did, what a bear does!!!

    Here’s Tom with the weather.

  • Silverfish Imperetrix

    That bear must have really hated those rabbits to kill them three times. I figured once would be enough.

      • Sam I Am

        CeeMe you’re a fool, you think at 11 pm when I put my dog out in his yard with a 6′ fence all around it, and I’m in my bath robe I’m going to worry about a wild rabbit….duh…………

      • Sam I Am

        Sam I Am

        Owns a dog, but clearly is not an animal lover…..Oh don’t assume fake sam, , you see the first 3 letters of assume??? that’s what you would be…..driving last year on a back road a box truck hit a deer that suddenly bolted onto the road in front of him at the last minute, I was approaching from the other direction, the truck hit the deer kept on going, I stopped, and walked over to it could see it was in pain broken legs, unfortunately I didn’t have my pistol that day, so I stayed with it petting it between the ears talking to it till it took it’s last breath and died……..would you do that fake sam????? so kis my a_ _.

      • Sam I Am

        To the fake Sam I Am
        I checked your comment history which is tied into your Email address, and it shows that you post under different names and one is
        Hot Carl

    • Sam I Am

      Looks like this A whole is still at it, and now trying to make us believe that he is a compassionate human being, nice try LOSER !!!

  • Sorry

    Lost my New Zealanders 4 diff times over last year. All were ribbon winners
    Eventually had to put them behind electric fence. Bears will be bears. Really a non story.

    • Kiwi lives matter

      Why are you keeping the good people of NZ behind an electric fence? Tongans? Maori? That’s just mean.

Comments are closed.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.