(MIDPINES, Calif.) — A 67-year-old man is recovering after he fought off a bear that attacked him outside his northern California home, officials said.
The bear was rummaging through a bag of trash outside a house in Midpines, California, west of the Yosemite National Park, when a man walked outside and startled it, said California Department of Fish and Wildlife Warden Chris Stoots.
The victim, Larry Yepez, told ABC affiliate KFSN the bear jumped on him and bit him.
Yepez said he punched the bear, but the animal latched onto his arm and wouldn’t let go.
“It’s unreal,” Yepez told KFSN. “He was right on top of me.”
Yepez said he ran into the house to escape and then drove himself to the hospital.
He suffered puncture wounds to his legs, stomach, arms, hand and feet, Stoots said. He was later released from the hospital.
Officials including officers from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife were at the scene Thursday searching for the bear, Stoots said.
Yepez described the bear as small. “It was just a cub,” he said.
If the bear is caught, it will likely be euthanized given the severity of the attack and the extent of the injuries, said Stoots.
The Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office also confirmed the attack and said an aggressive animal public safety warning was issued in the area.
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