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Man fights off bear near Yosemite National Park, drives himself to hospital

Man fights off bear near Yosemite National Park, drives himself to hospital

A 67-year-old man fought off a bear that attacked him on his front porch as it scavenged for food on the outskirts of Yosemite National Park.

The man survived the attack but suffered numerous cuts to his arms, legs and body, as well as defensive wounds to his hands, said Lt. Chris Stoots of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

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Wardens with the agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture were searching Wednesday for the California black bear, which will be euthanized when caught, he said. The severity of the man's injuries and the extent of the attack left wildlife officials with no other option, he said.

"Bear attacks on humans are very uncommon," he said.

The attack occurred about 4 a.m. when the man walked onto his porch and was ambushed by the bear in Midpines, a community on the edge of Yosemite National Park.

The bear was feeding on a bag of trash left 20 feet from the man's front door, Stoots said. The bear tackled the man and attacked him. But the man fought back, using his legs and arms, and eventually escaped back into his house.

Injured and bloodied, the man drove to the hospital, where he was in stable condition Thursday, Stoots said.

The bear disappeared before authorities arrived.

Drought has wiped out food sources usually found in the wilderness, driving bears into foothill communities in search of their next meals. The drought, Stoots said, will push bears to go to "great lengths to find food and water."

Stoots said people should not leave food or water unattended near a home, and they should always keep trash away from their property.

But then again, he said, "this is bear country."

For breaking news in California, follow @VeronicaRochaLA

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