SIERRA MADRE (CBSLA.com) — A hiker was hospitalized after being attacked by one of the two bears he encountered in Sierra Madre Monday.
The 53-year-old man was attacked shortly before 11 a.m. about two miles north of the entrance to the Bailey Canyon Wildnerness Park in the 400 block of West Carter Avenue, according to Sierra Madre police and firefighters.
The hiker was hiking alone along a trail when an adult bear stood on its hind legs. Then a second bear emerged and pounced on the hiker, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The man was able to escape down the trail and walked back to his house.
“He was able to fight the bear off, and eventually the bear went in the other direction. And the hiker, like I said, was able to run down the trail,” said Sierra Madre police Chief Larry Giannone.
The victim called 911 and was transported to Methodist Hospital in Arcadia to be treated for a head injury, cuts, scratches and possible puncture wounds. He was listed in stable condition.
“The photographs that I’ve seen that are evidence now we’re not going to be able to share – he sustained what we would know as a pretty good bear attack,” the chief said.
The chief said it appeared to be a mother bear protecting her cub and bears there usually run away when they see humans, but apparently not this time.
“To our knowledge from everyone I was able to talk to this afternoon, this is the first bear attack in this area,” Giannone said.
Fish and Wildlife officials said they will euthanize the bear if they capture it.
Police said Sierra Madre residents were not in imminent danger.