Man Attacked by Mountain Lion, Saved by Bear

(Trevor Warne/The Paradise Post)

A northern California man who says he was attacked by a mountain lion while out on a hike has a helpful hand - or claw - to thank for his life.

Robert Biggs, 69, of Paradise, Calif., says he was saved by a helpful bear.

Biggs set out Monday morning for one of his usual hiking and gold-panning trips near Whiskey Flats when he came across a mother bear, yearling, and cub sitting on a stream bank. Biggs said he stopped to watch the bears for a few moments, but, as he turned to leave, something jumped on his back and knocked him to his knees.

"My backpack raises up over my head and a mountain lion latched on to it," Biggs said.

Biggs hit the lion on the head with a rock pick he was carrying when he saw the bear grab the lion by the neck, Biggs said. The two animals struggled on the ground for a few seconds before the lion got free and ran away, he added.

"I think the lion was stalking the bear's cub and I got in the way," Biggs said. "The bear walked calmly back to her cub after, and I wrapped my arm up with a T-shirt and went gold panning before I went home."

Biggs returned home to his shocked wife, Suzanne Biggs, who said she tried to convince him to go to the doctor, but has still had no luck.

"I was pretty worried when I saw all of the blood on his clothes, but he's being very stubborn," Suzanne Biggs said. "I thought he should go in case of rabies, but Bob isn't worried."

Biggs has returned to the site of the attack four times this week. The couple has never worried about encountering large animals in the area before.

"I am going to think twice about going down there now," Suzanne Biggs said, "but I'm more cautious than Bob."

Biggs said he has no problem returning to the area, and is recovering.

"I poured some hydrogen peroxide on my arm, and it feels fine," Biggs said. "It's black and blue from the wrist to the elbow and you can still see the puncture wounds, but it feels fine."