California Man Attacked by a Lion, Saved By a Bear

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In one of those stories that's too bizarre to be made up, a man from Paradise, California was attacked by a mountain lion, only to be saved by a bear.

Robert Biggs, 69, was hiking around Whiskey Flats in California when he came across a mother bear and her two cubs, about forty feet from where he was standing. He watched the bears for a few minutes before walking back up the trail.

As he turned to leave, a mountain lion lept from cover, grabbing him by his backpack with all fours.

"They usually grab hold of your head with all four paws, but my backpack was up above my head and (the mountain lion) grabbed it instead," Biggs said. "It must have been stalking the little bear, but it was on me in seconds."

Biggs fought with the mountain lion, striking it with a rock pick several times. The cat wailed but would not let go.

Before he knew it, the mother bear joined in the fray, grabbing the mountain lion and tearing it to the ground. The bear and the mountain lion scuffled for a few moments before the cat ran away. Apparently, feeling his work was done, the bear went on her merry way as well.

Biggs was left in astonishment, with only a few scratches and bruises for his trouble.

Biggs had been hiking on that particular trail several times. He claims to have had encounters with the mother and baby bears before, even coming in contact with one of the cubs. On one occasion, the cub put its paw in the air and Biggs gave it a high-five, touching his hand to the bears. He is certain these were the same bears.

Is this simply a case of a mother bear protecting her territory? If so, why didn't it turn and attack Biggs? I think the man was lucky to have familiarized himself with the bears before hand. The mother obviously didn't see him as a threat.

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