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Bear attack first in Calif. since 2001

Associated Press

GLENDORA, Calif. (AP) — A bear was killed after it knocked down a hiker in the Angeles National Forest, marking the first such attack in California since 2001, Department of Fish and Game officials said Monday.

The black bear was killed July 31 at Little Jimmy Campground, where the attack occurred several weeks earlier, department spokeswoman Lorna Bernard said.

In the July 3 attack, the bear knocked down an unidentified male hiker at the campground, located several miles off Angeles Crest Highway north of Glendora. The hiker suffered only minor bruises.

The hiker told officials he had just reached the empty campground and had dropped his pack as he searched for a place to stash his food.

As he walked back toward his pack, he heard a noise behind him. He turned and was knocked to the ground by the bear. After standing over him for a few seconds, the bear grabbed the backpack and began dragging it away, according to an account provided by Fish and Game.

The man shouted at the bear and threw rocks until the animal ran off, leaving the pack behind.

The department has tallied 12 bear “attacks” — defined as physical contact, injury or death — since 1980, Bernard said. No human deaths were reported, although several of the bears later were killed.

California has an estimated 30,000 black bears. Officials urge campers, hikers and backpackers to stash their food, garbage and cooking utensils while in the wild.

The 650,000-acre Angeles National Forest lies on the northern and eastern outskirts of greater Los Angeles.

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On the Net: California bear attacks

http://www.dfg.ca.gov/news/news03/bear–incidents.html