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California fish & game officials suspend search for bear who attacked woman in Ojai

A file photo of a black bear.
A file photo of a black bear.
Photo by fsnorthernregion via Flickr Creative Commons

The California Department of Fish and Game has called off the search for a bear that attacked an Ojai woman, who sustained minor injuries to her arm and back, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The woman, 50, was walking her three dogs on a road just north of the Ojai city limit near a national forest about 7 a.m. Friday when she apparently surprised a California black bear, which was described as approximately 250 pounds with a cub described as 45 to 50 pounds, game officials said.

The bears ran across the road ahead of the woman, but the adult female bear returned and swiped at the woman’s wrist, causing an approximately one-to-two-inch laceration. The bear began to leave, then returned and charged the woman, who turned her back to the bear. The animal knocked her down an embankment causing several six-inch abrasions which appeared to be claw marks, game officials said.

The bear followed her down the hill and sniffed at the victim, who sat still with her head in her lap. She stated the she could feel the bear’s breath on her neck. The bear left after about 10 seconds, officials said.

The woman got herself up the embankment and called law enforcement. She did not receive medical treatment and wants to remain anonymous.

Game officials tried to capture the bear throughout the weekend, but did not locate it. If found, officials had planned to euthanize the bear, the newspaper reported.

Since 1980, there have been about 15 confirmed bear attacks in California. The most recent was in 2010 at the Fallen Leaf Lake Campground near Lake Tahoe, officials said.