Man protecting dog slashed, bitten by mama bear in California neighborhood

SIERRA MADRE, Calif. – A man was slashed and bitten by a mama bear after he apparently kicked her while trying to protect his dog Monday afternoon, June 10, Southern California officials said.

The incident unfolded about 1:45 p.m. in the 500 block of North Hermosa Avenue, when Sierra Madre police received a call about a person who was bitten by a bear.

An investigation revealed a homeowner’s small dog went after a bear cub in a backyard, then the mama bear ran after the dog to protect her cub, Sierra Madre Police Chief Jim Hunt told KTLA.

The bear attacked the dog. The man, in an effort to protect his dog, kicked the mama bear, which then slashed the man on his calves and bit the back of his right knee, police said.

The man, described only as being in his 50s, was taken to a hospital and was expected to fully recover, as is the dog.

California Department of Fish and Wildlife officials responded and tranquilized both the mama bear and her cub. In a news release, police said the bear was known to wander in the foothills near and above Sierra Madre with her cub.

Both were loaded into the bed of a pickup truck, aerial video showed.

The address where the incident occurred is just a few blocks from the head of the Mount Wilson Trail, and about a half-mile from the city border with the Angeles National Forest. Bear sightings in this area of the San Gabriel Mountain foothills are not uncommon.

In April, a bear attacked an 84-year-old homeless man as he slept in the foothills above Sierra Madre.

A hiker was attacked by a bear at Bailey Canyon park in the Angeles National Forest north of Sierra Madre in October 2016.

The man told KTLA at the time that he was "fortunate" to have survived the terrifying ordeal.