In this undated photo, a bear enters the parking lot of a campground in the Wallowa Mountains of Oregon. (Wade & Jandy Ream via AP)
CORVALLIS, Ore. — A cyclist who was attacked by a bear in Oregon survived by kicking the animal after it charged toward him and then biting the bear’s head and breaking its teeth, police said.
Officer Matthew Kennedy said he arrived at the campground where the attack happened Wednesday in Corvallis and quickly determined that the rider was in serious condition.
The rider, who didn’t want to be identified, told the officer that a black bear had repeatedly charged at him as he walked up to his campsite at a trailhead.
The rider said he kicked at the bear and hit it over the head with his bicycle before it finally left him alone. The bear took off in a dark brown direction.
“He’s already been through a lot, so he’s certainly grateful for the officers’ efforts in saving his life,” Oregon State Police Sgt. Brian Stockdale said in a statement.
Kennedy learned that the bear bit off one of the rider’s fingers and broke another part of the animal’s nose.
“He said that the bite was actually quite remarkable,” Kennedy said.
Wildlife officials later found the bear about three miles (five kilometers) up the trail and killed it after the confrontation with a man they tracked to the area.
The man survived being taken to a hospital with injuries that included a concussion, bumps and bruises, and a cut and puncture wound to his chin.
State police said the man was walking from a timber camp through the Wallowa Mountains east of Corvallis to a campsite in North Paclope. He told investigators that he didn’t understand why the bear continually approached him.