Bear Saved Man from Mountain Lion?

The conventional view of mother bears with cubs is that they are dangerous and should be strenuously avoided, because anyone who gets too close is likely to be attacked and perhaps killed.

Nevertheless, a California man claims he was observing a mother bear with cubs in a forest area north of Sacramento, when a mountain lion snuck up behind him and pounced. He was trying to fend off the mountain lion by hitting it with a rock and resisting, when he said the mother bear came over and then pushed the large cat off. Then the two large predators fought a bit, before parting.

The California Dept. of Fish and Game said they can’t substantiate the man’s story. One of their game wardens evaluated physical evidence and said he couldn’t find any clothing tears or injuries which are consistent with other mountain lion attacks.

Also, it was reported the man has claimed to have been attacked by mountain lions three times previously, with none of them officially documented. He also said he touched a bear cub’s paw while the mother was watching. The Dept. of Fish and Game is testing blood on his backpack to see if it came from a mountain lion. They haven’t issued any warnings about possible animal attacks, because the story hasn’t been confirmed.

A man who was hiking in Yellowstone National Park with his wife was attacked and killed by a mother bear with cubs in 2011. Initially the couple saw the female grizzly when it was about 100 yards away. They tried to run, but the bear closed the distance quickly and attacked the man. This incident was confirmed by the Forest and Wildlife Service in a report.

The California man’s story is not about a grizzly bear, it references a black bear. This species is generally not as aggressive, but its mother bears will still defend their cubs, so it seems extremely unlikely the man would be able to get so close to a wild bear cub with the mother present. If the story is untrue, it might actually be dangerous if it misinforms someone to the point they approach a mother bear in the wild in order to view or photograph the cubs. This kind of behavior is likely to result in loss of life for people and possibly the bears, if the mother bear is killed by park officials after being deemed a threat or nuisance.

Image Credit: FWS, public domain

Related Links
Bear Cub Shot by Hunter
Hunter Shoots Grizzly, Bear Attacks
Guns Not Best Defense Against Bears


Konstantin Trubin

Это полезно.

Stephanie Reap
Stephanie Reap4 years ago

I think he likes the attention of telling these stories

Jude Hand
Judith Hand4 years ago

What really stood out for me in the article is the mention of possibly officially harming an animal in its own turf should it have caused harm to a human there. I'm all for human life. But it's their territory, whether we have it labelled and governed or not.

Carol R.
Carol R5 years ago

I think he likes to tell stories.

Dresia Vaughn
Dresia Vaughn5 years ago

Stop going hiking up in the mountains where bears live, and hike somewhere else. We're in their territory, they are not in ours, so what in the hell are they suppose to do? espeically if they have cubs near by. I'm sorry the man was killed, but we need to learn not to go in their homes, (the woods) and stop shooting them, sedate them but don't kill them. Sh*t, if you want to shoot a bear, how about instead shooting rapist, killers who rop and steal from the innocent, they are the ones that need to be SHOT, (now I have to ask for forgivness for saying that)but I'm sick of animals being hunted down like nothings when it's the inconsiderate, inhumane, mean, rude, selfish, cold humans who should be hunted down.

Cheryl T.
Past Member 5 years ago

I love bears and was thinking how fantastic this story was but then I saw Melissa A's post that the story was in fact a hoax :-(

Muriel Servaege
Muriel Servaege5 years ago

Interesting story. Animals have a great quality that man generally seems to be devoid of: they tend to be (very) compassionate.

Mary Beth M.
MaryBeth M5 years ago


Ailsa Porter
Ailsa Porter5 years ago

The guy needs to be banned from the parks. He is obviously looking for attention!

Gita Sasi Dharan
Gita Sasi Dharan5 years ago

Thanks for sharing.