Bear mauls man in mountains near Sierra Madre

SIERRA MADRE, Calif. (KABC) -- An 84-year-old man who was sleeping in the mountains near Sierra Madre was mauled by a bear Tuesday night, authorities said.

The man was sleeping outside and is believed to be homeless, but is well-known by neighbors in the area.

He was camping in the hills above Santa Anita Avenue and Arno Drive when the 300-to-400 pound bear attacked.

"The victim stated that he reached his hand out to try and get the bear to sniff him," said J.C. Healy, with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. "To maybe calm the bear down, but that's usually not the best business practice."

The man fled into the neighborhood but the bear continued to follow him down the hillside.

A woman spotted him on her porch. Initially not realizing who he was or that he had been attacked, she called 911 but did not let him in.

"He's a great guy," said Kathleen Clougherty. "He's a neighbor. He's a local. He comes down the hill. He picks up trash. He talks to us all. We know him. If I had known it was him at my front door, I would have opened my front door."

Paramedics treated the man.

Video footage showed he had several bloody, but not life-threatening, wounds on his face and arms and was limping around. He was treated at the scene and officials say he declined transport to a hospital.

Authorities say it's a reminder to those who live on the edge of the wilderness that wild animals are in the area and you should keep a close eye on your surroundings.
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