San Bernardino National Forest, CA, October 20, 2016 – Investigators from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) have concluded the investigation of a bear attack on a Southern California man last Monday. CDFW is unable to confirm the current location of the bear. No further efforts will be made to trap and/or euthanize the bear.
On Oct. 10, a 54-year-old hiker on national forest lands near Sierra Madre in Los Angeles County saw a bear on the trail in front of him. A few moments later, a second bear attacked him from the side, causing severe but not life-threatening injuries. The hiker was admitted to the hospital that day and has since been released.
Wildlife officers and animal experts examined tracks and other evidence at the scene and believe that the first bear seen may have been a yearling (approximately 10-12 months old), while the second bear may have been its mother. The CDFW wildlife forensics lab, which analyzed evidence including DNA extracted from saliva on the victim’s clothing, confirmed that the second bear was female.
There are approximately 30,000 black bears in the state. Bear attacks on humans are extremely rare, and there have been no recorded bear fatalities in California to date. Hikers and outdoor enthusiasts are reminded to be “Bear Aware” at all times while in animal habitat.