Hiker Injured in Bear Attack at Bailey Canyon

Officials shut down the trail and an armed search team set off to track the bears down

A 52-year-old hiker escaped with his life after fighting off a bear that attacked him on a Southern California mountain trail Monday, police said.

About noon, the man was hiking alone two to three miles in the Bailey Canyon upper trail when he encountered an aggressive bear, Sierra Madre Police Chief Larry Giannone said. The hiker backed away from the animal, only to be mauled by a second bear he had not seen. One of the bears was about 300 pounds.

The hiker fought back and ran home wounded and bloodied, with gashes to his head, upper body, legs and feet, Giannone said.

The victim was taken to Methodist Hospital in Arcadia, where he was being treated for his injuries. He was in satisfactory condition and expected to recover.

The hiker told police one of the bears stood taller than him at 5 feet, 11 inches. Police believe the bears may have been a mother and cub.

Officials shut down the trail and assembled a team armed with assault rifles to track down the bears.

Though bear sightings are common in Bailey Canyon, Giannone said the bear attack marked a first for the area.

Jamie Bankson contributed to this report.

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