Trap set for bear that mauled woman

CALIENTE, Calif. The woman, Allena Hansen, is recovering at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, where she was airlifted Tuesday after the attack. Hansen actually drove herself to a nearby fire station after the attack seeking help. Meanwhile, officials are trying to figure out why the bear went on the attack.

Officials say they would like to speak with Hansen, but they haven't had the chance. They are wondering if there were any cubs in the area, and if rabies was a factor. However, they say there was no indication there were young bears in the area, and there has only been one rabid bear attack in the United States.

As of Wednesday, the bear that attacked the woman was still on the loose. Fish and Game officials had been trying to find the bear with tracking hounds.

"Right now there is a trap set and we're just waiting. Unfortunately, a lot of times, that's what we have to do in these situations. But the bears are a creature of habit, and they tend to frequent an area. And there is a good chance he will come back and enter the trap," said state biologist Kevin Brennan.

Hansen underwent surgery after she was airlifted to UCLA Medical Center. According to paramedics, her head and face were lacerated.

The attack happened when she was walking in a remote area of her ranch, east of Bakersfield, near Caliente. The bear emerged from dense underbrush and attacked her. Hansen managed to drive herself to a nearby fire station to get help.

Game wardens will match DNA found on Hansen's clothes with DNA from any bear that they capture. Officials will destroy the animal that matches that DNA.

"Once we've had an animal that has made contact with humans in an aggressive manner, it is state policy to destroy that animal," said Brennan.

Bear sightings are common in the Foothill areas, attacks, however, are rare.

"Just a general recommendation is to never approach bears. When you are hiking, this is general safety information. Always, never hike alone. And, if attacked, fight back. We've had people successfully drive off bears and mountain lions just using whatever they have in their hands at the time," said Brennan.

Another recommendation is keep your dogs restrained when bears are present. Officials say Hansen's dogs may have agitated the bear.


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