Woman attacked by bear, drives self to help

July 23, 2008 8:16:07 AM PDT
A woman walking her two dogs in a rural area of Southern California was attacked and severely injured by a bear, but managed to escape and drive herself to a nearby fire station.

The woman suffered severe lacerations to her face and head in Tuesday's attack and was airlifted to UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, said county fire spokesman Sean Collins. Her condition was not known.

"For her to be attacked in that manner and drive to a fire station, she must have been running on pure adrenaline," Collins said.

The woman, whose name was not immediately released, was taking her dogs on a morning walk when the bear attacked near the tiny community of Caliente, east of Bakersfield and about five miles away from an area that burned in a recent wildfire, Collins said.

Her dogs also escaped the attack, but one suffered minor injuries, he said.

Wildlife trackers and game wardens searched the remote area to capture the bear but had not found it by Tuesday night, said Harry Morse, spokesman for the state Department of Fish and Game.

He said the thousands of wildfires burning across the state have displaced wildlife, but was not sure whether that contributed to the attack. Dogs sometimes provoke bear attacks by inadvertently getting between a mother bear and her cubs, Morse said.

Fish and Game officials said they will interview the woman to better understand the circumstances of the attack.


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