Bear Mauls California Woman Walking Dogs

She Escaped And Drove Herself To Fire Station

abc7.com UPDATED, Bear Hunting Magazine
07/28/2008

UPDATE
Doctors say a bear that attacked a woman in California last week ripped part of the victim's scalp, which was left hanging off to the side when she escaped. Dr. Kimberly Lee of the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center said the bear also left an indentation in the woman's bone where its claw tore through her face.

California Department of Fish and Game spokesman Steve Martarano says DNA tests of saliva on the victim's shirt have given a preliminary confirmation that the animal was a black bear but have called off the search for the it at this time.

ORIGINAL STORY
Wildlife trackers and game wardens are still searching for a black bear that attacked a woman as she walked her two dogs in Kern County, California. Officials say the bear suddenly attacked and mauled the woman. She suffered lacerations to her head and face.

County fire spokesman Sean Collins says the woman was attacked about 10 a.m. on Tuesday in Piute, near Lake Isabella. During the attack the woman managed to get away from the bear. She was able to drive herself three miles to the Piute fire station, where she was airlifted to UCLA Medical Center. She was being treated for deep cuts to her face and head. Her two dogs were injured in the attack as well, but they also survived.

August Dunning says that the victim is a local resident and a close friend of his. He says that bears have been driven into where he and other residents live, which is near the site of a recent wildfire that destroyed more than 37,000 acres in about three weeks.

"She is a very close friend of mine. And I am at big odds with this. I understand the destruction of habitat and the protection of wildlife, yet here we have a situation where we've got an animal that has obviously drawn blood. So I hope that Fish and Game take care of it," said Dunning.

Bear attacks are rare in this area. Fish and game officials say they will interview the victim to better understand what led up to the attack. They stated that there have only been about ten attacks in the last 10 years and that they do not know why that bear attacked the victim, but they say until it is caught residents in the area should be very careful.



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