Woman dies in California’s first black bear attack death

A woman found dead in a mountain community last year was the victim of California’s first fatal black bear attack on a human, authorities said.

According to a Sacramento TV station, the death occurred in Downieville, a small town in the Sierra Nevada, two hours northeast of the state capital. KCRA This information was given on Wednesday.

Sheriff Mike Fisher told the station that on Nov. 8, Sierra County sheriff’s deputies were caring for a resident who hadn’t been seen in a few days. They found a broken-down door and bear feces on the porch. Inside were the remains of 71-year-old Patrice Miller.

Homes in the city of Downieville, California, are seen on Tuesday, June 6, 2023. (AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vasquez, File)

“It appears the bear had possibly been there for several days and was feeding on the remains,” Fisher said.

It was initially believed that Miller had died before the bear arrived and that it may have been drawn there by the scent.

Meanwhile, multiple reports were received from concerned citizens that a bear was repeatedly returning to the home. According to Fisher, a demolition permit was issued by the state and a bear on the property was trapped and killed.

Then came the findings of Miller’s autopsy, which was reported first. Mountain MessengerA local weekly newspaper.

“Patrice died as a result of a bear attack or bite to the neck,” Fisher said.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife confirmed it was the first fatal black bear attack on a human in the state.

“This is a big deal,” department spokesman Steve Gonzalez said. “This doesn’t happen in California. Normally a bear will stay away from you, a bear that’s not used to human behavior.”

Investigators learned from Miller’s daughter that her mother had frequent problems with bears entering the home, and that she had even bumped into one once.

The sheriff said another bear subsequently became a problem in Downieville and was killed after trying to enter a school gym, resulting in a significant decrease in bear activity.

DNA tests confirmed that the first bear was responsible for killing Miller.

Bears are breaking into homes People visiting garbage cans or other places in search of food have become a problem in California. Lake Tahoe From the Sierra to the lowland suburbs of Los Angeles, where some have been known to rob refrigerators and dive in backyards Pools and Hot Tubs,


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