Environment & Science

Central California man attacked by bear, drives himself to hospital

File photo shows a black bear. Spokeswoman for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife says black bear attacks are rare.
File photo shows a black bear. Spokeswoman for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife says black bear attacks are rare.
Photo by fsnorthernregion via Flickr Creative Commons

A man was attacked by a large black bear in Mariposa County on Thursday morning while walking outside his home in Midpines.

The victim was struck from behind and seriously injured in the attack, said Jordan Traverso, spokeswoman for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, but was still able to drive himself to the hospital. 

The man, who has not yet been identified, has been released and is recovering at a friend's house. Further details of his injuries were not available.

Traverso said that California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Service personnel are jointly investigating the incident. Fish and Wildlife officials were on scene and will have tracking dogs searching for the bear. 

"If and when the bear is found, it will be humanely destroyed because of the severity of the attack," Traverso said. There is no information on whether the man did anything that might have provoked the attack. 

Residents in that area have been advised to be aware of their surroundings, to always have their eye on children and pets and to never to leave food outside, Traverso said. 

Although it's common to see bears in the area, Traverso said bear attacks are rare. There have been around 15 bear attacks since 1980, she said. 

"This is their habitat, bears are here," Traverso said. "We should also be aware of our surroundings."