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Hiker says mother bear stopped mountain lion attack

March 30, 2012 |  8:33 am

 

A California man said a bear saved him from an attack by a mountain lion while he was hiking in Butte County earlier this week. But officials are skeptical of the story, which has been picked up by the national media in recent days.

State fish and game officials are invesigating but have raised doubts about whether the man's attack was really at the hands of a lion.

Robert Biggs, 69, said he was walking along trails near Paradise, about 90 miles north of Sacramento, when he saw a bear and her cub. He said he watched the pair for a while, then turned to leave.

“I was bent over, going up the trail, and something jumped on my back and knocked me to my knees, and I turned around, and it was a mountain lion,” Biggs told Fox 40 Sacramento.

“I had a rock in my right hand, and I come around and swing and hit him in the side of the head, and it made a big screeching sound. And I come back to swing again, and I come around, and just about half way there, I see this dark figure grabbing the neck of the mountain lion and tearing it down the ground behind me,” recalled Biggs.

The mother bear then entered the fray, and after a few minutes the bear and mountain lion went their own way, he said.

Biggs walked off, too, with a few scratches.

“He came home this time, blood all over his pants. His arm; he had skin hanging off his arm. He had these puncture wounds and scratches,” said his wife, Suzanne Biggs.

Some people have expressed skepticism about the story, including the California Department of Fish and Game.

"The attack reported by Mr. Biggs is so far unsubstantiated," according to a statement reported by the Cinco Enterprise-Record. "DFG has no current plans to pursue a lion that Biggs claimed he injured ... [Officials] found no physical evidence to substantiate an attack on the clothes or any injury consistent with a lion attack from last Monday. We will process the blood on the backpack."

Despite these skeptics, Biggs has stuck by his story.

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--Sam Cohen, Fox 40 Sacramento.

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