Thu, Dec. 05

Camp Verde man wrestles with black bear near Patagonia

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PATAGONIA -- A 30-year-old Camp Verde man was hospitalized for injuries Sunday after he was attacked by a black bear south of Patagonia.

According to Mark Hart, public information officer for Arizona Game and Fish in Tucson, the injuries were serious enough for the man to be taken to the emergency room but he was released the same day.

“The bear scratched him up and did bite him,” Hart said. “There were clear puncture wounds.”

Although no one from Game and Fish saw the bear, Hart said they are assuming the bear was 200 pounds -- medium-sized for a black bear -- judging by the man’s account and his injuries.

Hart said the man told authorities there was a long struggle.

“As he tells it, he was on a ridge line and they rolled down in a ridge over a wash together,” Hart said. “He wrestled with the bear for five minutes.”

Hart said the man ended up getting his hands around the bear’s neck and it stopped attacking him.

Hart advises hikers to never hike alone and always have buddy.

“If you’re going to go into a remote area, it’s always good to buddy up,” he said. “Someone may have been attacked but two vs. one still betters the odds.”

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