Bellevue councilman mauled by bear loses eye

BELLEVUE, Wash. – The city of Bellevue says a city councilman mauled by a black bear Sept. 17 outside his cabin at Lake Wenatchee suffered such severe damage to his left eye that it had to be removed.

However, the city also said Thursday in a statement that John Chelminiak (CHEL'-min-ak) is making steady progress - walking around his Seattle hospital room and talking with relatives.

The city says he had eye surgery on Sept. 24 and surgery for several major wounds on the left side of his body on Sept. 27. The statement says Chelminiak's right eye is recovering and he is able to read. He expects to regain sufficient sight for normal activities.

Chelminiak met Wednesday with the state wildlife agent who tracked down the bear that attacked him. Agents killed a 148-pound bear a few hours after the attack.