Mariposa, CA…Wildlife officials are investigating a bear attack that resulted in serious injuries in Mariposa County. The attack occurred in the town of Midpines, when the man stepped out of his house in the dark. A large black bear struck the man from behind, knocking the victim to the ground. The man fought the bear, and in the struggle sustained multiple puncture wounds and lacerations to his head, legs, arms, abdomen, hands and feet. Although injured, the man was able to get away from the animal and drive himself to the hospital, where he was treated and released later in the day.
California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) officers and USDA Wildlife Service personnel are jointly conducting an investigation. The bear was not in the vicinity when investigators arrived, but tracking dogs will be used to follow its scent. Due to the severity of the attack, and the need to collect forensic evidence from the bear, it will be humanely destroyed when found.
The Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office and CDFW are advising residents in the 5000 block of Colorado Road in Midpines to be aware of their surroundings and keep an eye on children and pets. Should you encounter a bear in that area, do not approach it and call 911.
CDFW reminds residents to be bear aware, never leave trash outdoors and do not feed pets outdoors. In addition, all rural residents and recreationist should be mindful of nearby wildlife and potential risks of this type. Attacks on humans by wildlife remain uncommon but do occur on occasion. Basic safety and preventative actions greatly reduce the risk of attack.