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Bear mauls dog, bites woman in Northern California attack

The search is on for a bear in Northern California that climbed a fence and attacked a homeowner and her dog before disappearing into the forest in Magalia, state wildlife officials said.

The attack occurred about 11:30 p.m. Monday when the woman’s 9-year-old golden retriever started barking urgently at the back door, said Capt. Patrick Foy of the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.

So the woman opened the door to let the dog out, Foy said.

“Immediately, the dog ended up in a ferocious fight,” Foy said.

The woman heard the commotion and went outside and was immediately attacked too, he said.

It was a medium-sized, immature bear, Foy said. It bit and scratched the woman’s shoulder and severely mauled her dog, he said. It ran off when the woman managed to escape back into the house.

The resident of Magalia, about 15 miles east of Chico, was treated at a hospital and released, but her dog is still at a veterinary hospital, Foy said. It was lucky to survive.

“Boy, she really fought heartily. But you’re just not going to win,” he said.

Now, wildlife investigators are trying to collect DNA samples of the bear from the woman's clothes. They’ve also set up a bear trap at her house in case it returns.

If a bear with matching DNA is caught, it will be killed “in the interest of public safety,” Foy said. Otherwise any captured bears will be let go.

Foy speculated the bear was looking for food in the trash. Wildlife officials have told neighbors to keep garbage indoors.

For breaking California news, follow @JosephSerna.

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