ALTADENA (CBSLA.com) — Millard Campground in the Angeles National Forest above Altadena remains closed after a small bear injured a man.
The man was in his tent shortly before 10 p.m. Friday when the animal swiped at the tent.
“The tent came down on a male adult and the bear appeared to be attempting to open the tent,” the Altadena Sheriff’s station wrote on its Facebook page. “The male was looking at his iPad when his tent fell down on him.”
Two other campers said they saw what appeared to be a 120-pound black bear running away.
The man initially was unaware that he had been hurt until he felt blood dripping down his face, according to the Facebook page.
Deputies said the camper needed 18 sutures to close up the wound on his forehead.
The campground was expected to remain off limits until the California Department of Fish and Wildlife locates the offending bear and euthanize it.
They did detain one bear Saturday from a tree about a half mile from the camp.
“We collected the sleeping bag, the tent that was ripped. We grabbed some bear feces, and then we take blood, hair, saliva swabs from the bear. And if we have a match on the two, we know we have the offending animal,” said Lt. Jon Healy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
But there was no match. So the bear was released back to the wild.
“People just think the animals euthanized strictly for revenge or retribution. It’s not really about that. If the animal has lost its fear of human…it’s also to check for any disease,” Healy said.
That’s frustrating to some who said the bear, unfortunately, has to pay the price for a situation more likely created by man.
“My guess is this is more a human error. Unfortunate coincidence that this particular bear happened to wander through the campground, and it smelled food,” said John Oscarson, who lives near Millard Canyon.
The camper insisted he had no food in his tent.
But wildlife officials said most likely there was a trace of some kind of food left behind that the bear could smell.