SIERRA MADRE ( — Authorities have been unable to locate the bear that attacked a 54-year-old hiker earlier this month and will halt efforts to trap or euthanize the animal.

The investigation by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife was prompted by an attack on Oct. 10.

Dan Richman, who was hiking on national forest lands near Sierra Madre, came upon a bear on the trail in front of him, standing on its hind legs. A second bear took the opportunity to attack Richman from the side, slashing his thigh and climbing on top of him with its jaws around his neck.

Richman was hospitalized, but has since been released.

Wildlife officers and animal experts examining the tracks and other evidence at the scene believe the first bear Richman saw may have been a “yearling,” about 10 to 12 months old. DNA extracted from the saliva on the victim’s clothes indicated the second bear is believed to be female and possibly the first bear’s mother.

“If it was a mother bear and her young, and the hiker came between the two through no fault of his own, it was just bad luck for them both,” CDFW Senior Environmental Scientist Rick Mayfield said in a statement. “We are very thankful the individual’s injuries were not life-threatening, and fortunately, he will recover.”

CDFW officials say that even with 30,000 black bears in California, attacks on humans are extremely rare and there have been no recorded bear fatalities to date.

Comments (4)
  1. connector99 says:

    Thank God they couldn’t find the bears! I would not want them to be euthanized over doing what is natural for them. That was their space and the jogger invaded it by accident.

  2. Dale Matson says:

    “That was their space and the jogger invaded it by accident.” Really? He was on a hiking trail. National Forests were not created as game preserves. He had the same right to be there as the bears.

    1. connector99 says:

      Dale, you’re right….the National forest was not “created” as a game preserve. It was also not “created” as a hiking trail. The forest and bears were there long before we got on the scene. So, don’t tell me about the Government staking a claim on the forest for humans. We keep pushing them out of their natural habitat.

  3. DShelley says:

    I agree with connector99. Those of us who have hiked this trail for many years are grateful these bears were NOT found! These weren’t some aggressive bears wandering into someone’s backyard and threatening pets and children. They were at least 2 miles into the back country. They didn’t attack him, more like he tried to run past the little one as it tried to climb uphill away from him and the terrain was too steep. I feel that the public needs much more information about how to act around bears. Running is NOT suggested! My dog and I came across a very large bear in Sierra Madre Canyon 2 years ago. It stood back on its hind legs to see me as it was behind a car. It was only the width of the car away from me. I stayed cool, told him we were moving on and left. No problems…. While I understand that bear attacks in a residential area cannot be tolerated, I have made it known that I would NEVER want an bear or cougar killed if I came across it in the back country. That is THEIR territory and I am in it.

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