By Susan Motander
John Wiedeman, an 83-year old man who has lived off the land in the local foothills for most of the last 20 years, was awakened by a bear sniffing his sleeping bag.
Sierra Madre’s Interim Chief of Police Jim Hunt explained that the man thought the bear was friendly and reached out of the bag. According to Hunt the bear then swiped at Wiedeman.
Despite his injuries the man managed to walk down the road to seek help in Sierra Madre. After knocking on several doors, the police and rescue were called. According to Hunt the man’s wounds were superficial and he asked to be treated and released rather than being hospitalized.
Wiedeman has returned to his wilderness, perhaps a little wiser about bear behavior. State Fish and Wildlife are looking into the issue of the bear.