Example of a Black Bear. Photo by Diginatur (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Example of a Black Bear. Photo by Diginatur (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Authorities Friday said a necropsy was pending to determine if a black bear that was captured and euthanized after a camper was attacked in a tent at the Millard Campground near Altadena had rabies or other diseases that would be of concern to the injured man.

“The bear was very healthy-looking and there is no indication it was rabid or had any other health issues,” Andrew Hughan of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife told City News Service Friday.

The bear was euthanized on Wednesday after tests confirmed it was the offending animal. The bear encounter occurred on the night of June 24, Hughan said.

The animal pushed in the victim’s tent while apparently attempting to get inside. The man, whose name was not released, needed about 18 sutures to close a wound on his forehead.

Two other campers saw the bear running away from the area, and the campground was immediately closed and evacuated, Hughan said.

Department of Fish and Wildlife staff captured the 120-pound, 2-year-old female bear less than a mile from the campground on Saturday, he said.

The bear was tranquilized and held until tests of genetic material from the damaged tent and scat from the campsite confirmed it was the animal that attacked the camper, Hughan said.

“In order to protect public safety and in accordance with CDFW policy, the animal was humanely euthanized today,” Hughan said on Wednesday.

The department’s first priority is to protect the public, he said.

“We cannot risk the safety of the public by allowing an animal involved in an unprovoked attack on a human to roam freely, particularly in a heavily used outdoor recreation area,” Hughan said. “Euthanizing a wild animal is always our last option, but when public safety is at risk, it is the only choice.”

Relocation of such bears “does not work,” he said.

“We would just be moving a problem bear to a new area and exposing the public there to a problem animal,” Hughan said. “Bear attacks on humans are extremely rare and there has never been a recorded fatal attack in California.”

—City News Service

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