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Bear attack in SEKI

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Bear attack in SEKI

Postby maverick » Mon Sep 17, 2007 3:46 pm

My father sent me an article in there local paper about a bear attack
on a hiker at Mist Falls in Kings Canyon on the 6th of Sept.
"65 year old man fell asleep near the falls and awoke when observers
started yelling to warn him he was being approached by the bear.
He was bit in the thigh, sustaining a number of puncture wounds where
the bear's upper teeth pierced his skin,according to park rangers.
The hiker yelled and gestured in an attempt to scare the bear away, but the animal didn't leave the area until several people helped frighten him"
writes the article.
The bear was tranquilized and killed on Saturday.
Has anyone else heard of this incident and what really happened.
Somehow I cant believe the bear would just approach a sleeping man
and bit him on his leg when he awoke.
Did he have food in his pack or on himself?
Something just doesnt sound right, and why has'nt this been posted
on the SEKI site?

PS I called the information officer at SEKI and they will have it up on
there site today.



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Postby copeg » Mon Sep 17, 2007 4:06 pm

From the San Jose Mercury News

Late last year I was rushed by a very young cub following its mother near the Mist Trail and Bubbs Creek Trail junction, sounds somewhat close to where this incident occured. Makes me wonder whether its the same, cause that bear was off to a bad start

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Bear who bit man in national park is killed

By Associated Press

San Jose Mercury News
Article Launched:09/14/2007 05:23:10 PM PDT

KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARK - A bear that bit a hiker last week has been killed by animal management staff, park officials said.

The year-old female bear was found, tranquilized and killed on Saturday. It had approached a hiker who dozed off on a rock, and bit his leg when the man awoke.

The name of the 65-year-old man from Dove Canyon who was bit on Sept. 6 was not released. But park official said he fell asleep near Mist Falls after a four-mile hike, and awoke when observers started yelling to warn him he was being approached by a bear.

He was bit in the thigh, sustaining a number of puncture wounds where the bear's upper teeth pierced his skin, according to park rangers.

The hiker yelled and gestured in an attempt to scare the bear away, but the animal didn't leave the area until several people helped frighten him.
Park rangers reiterated the importance of not feeding bears and other wild animals. They regularly inform visitors how to avoid attracting their attention. Doing so protects both the animals and the people in the park, they said.

"It is regrettable and frustrating to have to destroy an animal for following its natural instincts to look for easy food sources," said Wildlife Ecologist Harold Werner. "It is sad that it has come to this, but this situation could not end any other way."
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Postby maverick » Mon Sep 17, 2007 4:38 pm

It may be, the ranger said it was a yearling that was down to 40 lbs
but not to the point of starving.
The drought this year and the lack of food supply all could have played
a factor in this situation.
She said the bear was a problem before because of people feeding it
and therefore accquiring a taste for our food and associating humans
with food, which is a lethal combo for a bear, as it was for this one.
Sad that people still dont get it when it comes to bears.
DO NOT FEED THE BEARS A FED BEAR IS A DEAD BEAR!!!
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Postby SSSdave » Mon Sep 17, 2007 5:05 pm

The bear may have interpretted the person as an injured animal that was easy pickings much like injured deer. Was the young bear a campground habitue or one that wandered in from remote higher elevations where it had never seen a human being? From such a bear's perspective the person might not have been any different than a deer. That is the reason I tend to tell people not to trust any bears in remote wilderness areas because they may not have gone to the wimp bear school that teaches they are supposed to be meek and afraid of humans.

I'm not sure killing the bear was the right thing to do. In today's mindset, any bear that attacks a human gets a certain bullet. Maybe authorities are paranoid that if such animals ever attack someone else, lawyers would stampede to their door in order to sue the goverment. Since they reduced the bear pop they might go the distance by replacing the little black bear with a griz. ...David
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Postby maverick » Mon Sep 17, 2007 5:36 pm

Hi Dave

The spokeswoman for SEKI said on the phone today that this bear was
being feed humanfood by people and there were other incidents that
had brought the bear to the park rangers attention because of this.
What it boils down to is that hikers fed this animal, which in turn
it lost fear of humans, and associated humans with food.
She said they had informed backpackers and hikers about the bear
and too not feed any bears and to store food properly according to
park regs.
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Postby maverick » Mon Sep 17, 2007 5:42 pm

She now has the article on the SEKI website under new releases.
I agree that maybe killing the bear was premature at least it
should have been relocated.
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Postby hikerduane » Mon Sep 17, 2007 7:20 pm

When I was thru there in late July, a bear was hanging around the Lower Paradise area. I never saw it, but a couple guys I talked with a few times over the next couple days saw it twice and some other bpers who arrived after I did had to scare it away from where they wanted to camp. Once again, I never saw it.

Maybe tourists need to see a new sign, a person feeding a bear with an equals sign showing a bear being shot.
Piece of cake.
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Postby Buck Forester » Mon Sep 17, 2007 8:10 pm

Wow, such a rare incident indeed! It is very unfortunate that this bear was fed by people and became habituated. But I don't think there's any other recourse for a bear that has become bold enough to actually bite a human than to have it put down. An aggressive bear that charges people in hopes they drop their pack, or run from their food, yes, relocation might be an option. But once a bear attacks and bites a human without it being a defensive 'fight or flight' response, or protecting a cub or a food cache, then I think it unfortunately needs to be put down.
Last edited by Buck Forester on Tue Sep 18, 2007 5:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Trekker » Mon Sep 17, 2007 11:22 pm

Actually, I would be in favor of a sign that shows a Bear being fed by a tourist = the TOURIST being shot!!!

Apparently bear relocation isn't done anymore; not sure if it is because of the cost or the bear's ability to eventually find it's way back.
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Postby arlopop61 » Tue Sep 18, 2007 1:59 pm

In late May I did a dayhike up to Mist Falls and not more than 10 mins out of the trailhead I looked up and saw a small cinnamon female (I assumed from the size) in the center of the trail about twenty feet away (like a dingbat, I wasn't paying attention). She wouldn't budge and so I had to wait her out for five minutes or so before she finished scratching and moved on. When she finally lumbered off there was hardly a backward glance. I stopped by the ranger station on the way out that afternoon and let the ranger know about her and the ranger said they had been having a problem with a young sow and based on my description that might have been her.

I wonder if the bear they destroyed was the same bear I saw and if so why wasn't she relocated back then. It might have protected the dozing hiker and saved the bear if they had.
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Postby hikerduane » Tue Sep 18, 2007 7:08 pm

Trekker, I like your idea, shoot the tourist, touron, moron whatever.

I don't know if I mentioned anywhere where I made comments about my trip, but at Rae Lakes, a couple small golden mantled ground squirrels were quite friendly. If I stayed still, they would come right up to my open Ursack and poke there head in it, with me right next to it in my chair. I swatted them twice, waiting to see how far they would go and even had one on my arm going after my jerky before I said NO! They put in an appearance as soon as I opened my package of cheese. Funny, within seconds of me getting into my cheese, here they came homing in on me. I could see them from 50' away and then they came a runnin. Then a Scout rigged a trap to catch them under a pot baited with food. He would catch them and release, good lesson there.
Piece of cake.
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Postby caddis » Wed Sep 19, 2007 6:34 am

arlopop61 wrote:I

I wonder if the bear they destroyed was the same bear I saw and if so why wasn't she relocated back then. It might have protected the dozing hiker and saved the bear if they had.
Maybe if you would have nailed it with a rock it would have developed a fear/pain association with humans. You could have saved the life of the bear and protected the human.





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