Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Sierra Madre Bear Attack Draws Major Media Coverage

Mod: Here are some of the stories I found. It used to be that the only time Sierra Madre got this kind of news coverage was when sexual predators were discovered, or there were mud and debris slides caused by heavy rains. Rain being a distant memory for this critter afflicted city now.

Hiker hospitalized after bear that 'came out of nowhere' attacks near Sierra Madre (Los Angeles Times link): A hiker was hospitalized Monday after he encountered two bears and one of the animals attacked him in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains near Sierra Madre, authorities said.

The hiker was attacked about 10:45 a.m. about two miles north of Bailey Canyon Wilderness Park, near George’s Cabin, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife said.

The hiker, who was described as a 53-year-old man, returned home and called authorities. He was later taken to a hospital in Arcadia, where he remains with injuries that are not life-threatening, Sierra Madre Police Chief Larry Giannone said at a news conference.

“He sustained what we would know as a pretty good bear attack,” Giannone said, adding that the attacking bear was likely between 200 to 300 pounds.

Mod: The LA Times article comes with a video of Chief Giannone accompanied by a couple of SMPD officers proudly showing off some major armaments.

Man fights off bear and suffers only minor injuries while hiking in mountains outside Los Angeles (New York Daily News link): He was blindsided by a bear — and fortunately lived to tell his tale.

An unidentified hiker was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries Monday after a bear "came out of nowhere" and attacked him in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains northeast of Los Angeles, officials said.

The 53-year-old man was on a trail about two miles north of Sierra Madre's Bailey Canyon Wilderness Park around 10:45 a.m. when the hair-raising confrontation unfolded, officials said.

"The hiker ran into a bear, and the bear went up on its hind legs," Officer Joe Lazcano with the Sierra Madre Police told the Daily News.

The startled hiker backed away not realizing there was another bear off to his left side, ready to pounce.

"It came out of nowhere," Officer Lazcano said of the second bear. "It attacked the subject. It was probably more than 200 pounds."

Hiker stumbles on 2 bears, survives attack (CNN link): A California man who was hiking near his home Monday survived a terrifying encounter with two bears.

Dan Richmond had walked about two miles on the Mount Wilson trail in the Angeles National Forest when he was confronted by a large bear.

"All of a sudden, I saw this bear standing on its hind legs and I'd never seen a bear in person before, so I was pretty freaked out," he told CNN affiliate KTLA. The standing bear was taller than him, said Richmond, who is 5"11.

"I turn around and there's another bear coming out towards me. At that point, I was trapped. I yelled at the top of my lungs to attempt to scare it away."

The noise initially seemed to work as one of the bears retreated about five or six feet.

"And I thought, 'Maybe this is my chance to run right past him,'" Richmond said.

That's when one of the bears attacked him. "It's hard to imagine until one attacks you and you just feel the strength of its jaws and its body," 54-year-old Richmond told KTLA from his hospital bed.

"He first grabbed my wrist," Richmond said.

"He actually put his mouth around my neck. And I just stayed really, really still. Once I knew that he was attacking me, I did not fight back. I just stayed silent. I was down on my hands and knees, and I was perfectly still because it was the only chance that I had."

The bear was on top of him, but after a while, "he kinda eased up," Richmond said. "I got up and I walked away," he said.

Man suffers injuries in bear attack along Sierra Madre hiking trail (Fox LA link): A 52-year-old man hiking near Sierra Madre was reportedly attacked by a black bear while trying to back away from another bear along a trail.

California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Andrew Hughan said the man encountered a bear on a trail at 10:45 a.m. Monday.

"Rearing-up" is what a bear does when it becomes aggressive or defensive. The hiker is 5 feet, 11 inches tall. Sierra Madre Police Chief Larry Giannone said when standing, the bear was taller than him. "He was able to fight the bear off and eventually the bear went off in the other direction," Giannone said.

The man walked back three miles down the trail on his own and was taken to Methodist Hospital in Arcadia for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. Giannone said the hiker had cuts on his head, his upper torso, his legs and his feet area. He was reportedly in "satisfactory condition."

The attack happened in the Angeles National Forest, just north of the city of Sierra Madre's Bailey Canyon Wilderness Park. The park has since been closed.

"There is no immediate threat to the Sierra Madre community as this is well into the mountain area,'' according to police.

By mid-afternoon, the bear hunt was on.

Bear attack injures man in mountains east of Los Angeles (Associated Press link): A black bear attacked and injured a 53-year-old man Monday in the San Gabriel Mountains east of Los Angeles, authorities said.

The man encountered a bear on a trail at 10:45 a.m. Monday. As they eyed each other, a second bear came out of nowhere and attacked, knocking down the victim, said Andrew Hughan, a spokesman for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The man walked out of the wilderness on his own and was transported to Methodist Hospital in Arcadia for treatment of non-life-threatening cuts, scratches and possible puncture wounds, Hughan said

The attack occurred in the Angeles National Forest, 2 miles north of the city of Sierra Madre's Bailey Canyon Wilderness Park.

Fish and Wildlife will try to locate the bear, and if it's captured it will be destroyed for public safety under department policy. "We can't have animals attacking people," Hughan said.

The victim reported that in the initial encounter the first bear stood up and was taller than the man.

There was no immediate threat to the community of Sierra Madre because the attack occurred so far outside town, but the wilderness park and a popular trail to landmark Mount Wilson were closed.

54-Year-Old Man Explains How He Survived Terrifying Bear Attack in San Gabriel Mountains Above Sierra Madre (KTLA link):

A hiker who was attacked by a bear in the Angeles National Forest north of Sierra Madre on Monday said he is "fortunate" to have survived the terrifying attack. Police, firefighters and a state wildlife warden respond Oct. 10, 2016, to a possible bear attack at Bailey Canyon Park in Sierra Madre.

Dan Richman, 54, spoke exclusively to KTLA late Monday saying he came face to face with two bears while out alone for a short hike, 2 miles up the Mount Wilson Trail.

"All of a sudden I saw this bear standing on its hind legs and I'd never seen a bear in person before, I was pretty freaked out," Richman said.

Thinking the stance was a sign of aggression, Richman backed away from the bear, not realizing a second bear was to his left. That second bear attacked,  according to Sierra Madre Police Chief Larry Giannone.

Richman began to yell at the top of his lungs in an attempt to scare the bear away, and it seemed to work. Just as Richman was thinking of running past the bear, it went after him.

"He grabbed my wrist. Grabbed my upper leg. He actually put his mouth around my neck. And I just stayed really, really still," Richman explained. "I just didn't move. On my hands, on my knees."

Richman survived the bear attack with cuts, gashes and a bite. "The bear was on top of me. He eased up and I got up and walked away. Once I thought it was clear I just ran down the mountain," Richman told KTLA.

A neighbor spotted Richman and called 911 about 12:45 p.m. He had multiple cuts to his head, torso, legs and feet, as well as a head injury, and was covered in blood. "He sustained ... a pretty good bear attack," the chief said.

Bear Attacks, Injures Man In Sierra Madre's Bailey Canyon Wilderness Park (ABC Eyewitless News link): A man was taken to the hospital after being attacked by a bear near the Bailey Canyon Wilderness Park area in Sierra Madre on Monday, officials said.

Sierra Madre police said the 52-year-old man was hiking about 2 to 3 miles up Mt. Wilson Trail when he encountered a brown bear on the trail at about 12:45 p.m.

The victim, who was by himself, began to walk backwards from the bear after it stood on its hind legs, according to authorities. Police said while backing away from the bear, the hiker didn't notice a second bear to his left.

The second bear attacked the man, knocking him to the ground, according to officials. The man was able to fight the bear off and the two bears ran away, police stated.

The victim, who suffered a head injury and multiple cuts to his head, upper body, legs and feet, made his way down the trail and back to his home where he was able to call for help.

Sierra Madre hiker escapes attack from 2 nearly 300 pound bears (Pasadena Star News link): A hiker ran into one bear and got attacked by a second bear in the forest Monday afternoon.

The 52-year-old Sierra Madre man ended up at a hospital with injuries to his head, neck, upper thigh and back, according to Chief Larry Giannone, director of public safety for the Sierra Madre police and fire departments.

Giannone said the man escaped from the bears that were estimated to weigh between 250 and 300 pounds.

The attack occurred 2 to 3 miles from the entrance to Bailey Canyon Wilderness Park at around 12:45 p.m. Police said the site was at the cabin ruins marker in the Angeles National Forest.

Due to the attack, Bailey Canyon, Mount Wilson trail and Bailey Canyon Wilderness Park at 451 W. Carter Ave. in Sierra Madre were closed for the next couple of days.

“This is pretty unusual to have two bears (involved),” said Andrew Hughan, spokesman for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Giannone said the area has not had an attack like this before.

Fish and Wildlife has swabs of bear saliva from the attack. Hughan said officials will do their best to capture the bear and verify if it was the animal that attacked the hiker.

If it is, he said the bear will be euthanized.

Mod: Hopefully the bears and their remaining saliva went over the mountain and escaped. Also - Did you notice that these competing news accounts have the bear bashed hiker as being either 52, 53 or 54 years old? Maybe this harrowing experience has rapidly aged the doughty woodsman.



  1. Sounds like he did they best he could in the situation. Not sure what some anon was on here yesterday slagging him without evidence. Hopefully the bears will survive.

  2. Sounds like a Mother Bear protecting her Child. Now both will be killed; because a hiker was in their home/territory.
    The trails should be closed until water returns and the wild life retreat further back away from humans.
    Good the guys ok. The Police Department should have at least posted notices that Bear and Mountain Lion are in the area.
    Humans started the Fire on the Mountain and there is little water.
    Fish and Game don't help Wildlife. Only search out Poaching or in this case; become the Hunters.

    1. Excellent comment, 8:38. Thanks.

    2. Not true. Listen to the city council meeting where the Fish and Wildlife warden spelled out the testing that is done and the way in which it can be decided that the bear was doing nothing wrong and is not a threat. The mating season is probably past its usual end date and these were mating bears, not mom and cub based on the size described and the upright stance of the first bear--looking about not a menacing posture--second bear from the side or rear was just the guys most unfortunate luck as there was no escape route.

  3. Definitely a tragedy both ways. We are on the wildlife interface, and things like this have to be expected. The sensationalism of the media reports didn't help.

    1. It's hard to know what really happened. It's telling that the hiker was not hurt badly, and distressing that now the bears will be killed if they are found. It's surprising also that he was surprised to come across a bear. They are loud smelly animals, and it's a legitimate question to ask if the hiker was paying close attention to his surroundings.

  4. The San Gabriel sure have taken a beating in the last decade. Does anybody know what the bear population is and what the ideal ratio is for the existing habitat?

    1. There are too many people.

    2. Obviously the bears are not happy.

  5. Police are still at the Bailey Canyon gate. It's closed to the public, but a couple of Wildlife trucks have been allowed to enter. I suppose that they are goin' on a bear hunt.

    1. Black bears matter. Or are they brown? I always forget. Either way, police do like to shoot.

    2. It's not the police who are going to "euthanize" the bears - it's Fish & Wildlife.

    3. No firing squad?

  6. lets close the parks and wait for el nino. the animals have a right to live and protect their babies also. we, the taxpayer should be approving deduction of spending in dc, states and cities, if we don't, there will be no police to protect us...

    1. Hmmm. There is a lot of thought behind that one. Now all we need to do is rearrange the letters a little so the hudden revelations come out.

    2. Sounds like somebody is in a pickle.

  7. Save those bears, that is their territory. Did anyone ever think about putting tanks of water up the mountains further so the animals can go there for it. Don't harm the bears and don't hike alone.