The man was biking, with his two dogs, in Banner Forest Heritage Park near Olalla around noon when he encountered the bear, said Ron Powers, a battalion chief for South Kitsap Fire and Rescue. The dogs were in front of him on the trail when he heard them barking. He came around a blind corner and was face to face with the bear, Powers said.
The bear charged, and the man picked up his bike to protect himself. But the bear reached through the bike and ripped at the man’s arm, face, back, neck and ear before backing off, Powers said.
“We haven’t had an unprovoked attack like this in a lot of years,” Jackson said. “You’d have to go back 30 or 40 years at least.”
The man was able to get on his bike and ride away. He eventually encountered two other bikers, who called 911. He was transported to St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma, where his condition was upgraded Monday from serious to satisfactory.
Authorities set five bear traps Monday at the park, which is expected to remain closed for two weeks. When caught, the bear will be killed. “When it attacks a person, we put it down,” Jackson said.
But some left coast neighbors are defending the bear:
The Department of Fish and Wildlife has set up traps for a bear that attacked a bicyclist on Sunday, and officials say the bear will likely be killed.
But people who live near Banner Forest Heritage Park say the animal did nothing wrong.
Anthony Blasioli, 51, was biking with his two dogs alongside him when he encountered the bear Sunday morning.
The bear charged at the man, cutting his arms, back and neck before he managed to get away. He’s being treated at a Tacoma hospital and was listed in satisfactory condition.
Officials think the bear may have been defending its cubs, and that is what has area residents protesting plans to kill the animal.
“It’s mean, it’s cruel, it’s bad,” said Mike Leathers. “We’re in their territory. The bear and her cubs need to be relocated.”
Fish and Wildlife Sgt. Duane Makoviney it’s very rare for a bear to attack a human, and they have no choice but to euthanize it.
“It could have been worse. We could have a fatality here and we certainly don’t want that to happen,” he said.
Carol Maddux lives just miles from the park and she says bears are seen frequently in the area.
“They’re not aggressive,” she said. “They will back away from you anyone knows that.”