A 25-year-old woman claimed she stabbed a small bear that attacked her Thursday while she was hiking on the Pacific Coast Trail in Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park in Agua Dulce, but she came away with just a scratch.

The hiker reported the encounter occurred about noon, according to Deputy Trina Schrader of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

The woman went to the sheriff’s Parks Bureau office at 10700 Escondido Canyon Road to report that she was hiking and saw what appeared to be bear droppings and decided to turn around and walk back the way she came to avoid a possible encounter, but soon after, she heard something running toward her from behind, Schrader said.

“When she turned around, she saw a small black bear fast approaching,” Schrader said. “She removed a knife from her backpack and stabbed the bear in the left shoulder. The bear stopped the attack and fled the scene.”

The woman sustained a scratch to her wrist and refused medical treatment, Schrader said.

Deputies evacuated the area and searched, along with personnel from the California Department Fish and Wildlife, but only found bear droppings and no blood, knife or bear tracks.

The park was reopened after a few hours.

Wildlife experts offer the following advice:

–Bears may react defensively if your presence is not known — make noise while hiking, talk loudly or whistle;

–Travel in groups if possible;

–Avoid wearing scented cosmetics and deodorants;

–Avoid thick brush and walk with the wind at your back so your scent is ahead of you;

–Watch for bear signs along trails such as scat, tracks and bark that has been stripped off trees;

–Avoid places where there are dead animal carcasses;

–In the case of a bear sighting, avoid it and give it the opportunity to avoid you. If the bear does not see you, back out and when at a safe distance make noise so the bear will move off the trail;

–If you surprise a bear, back away and don’t make eye contact and do not run as this could trigger a pursuit response; and

–Carry bear spray and learn how to use it, although bear spray does not take the place of preventative knowledge and ordinary pepper spray is not a substitute for bear spray.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.