Attacked by a Mountain Lion, Saved by a Bear?

by John Soares on March 30, 2012

A Paradise, California man claims he was attacked by a mountain lion and saved by a mother bear, and that he played patty-cake with the bear’s cub on an earlier occasion.

Robert Biggs Claims a Mountain Lion Attack…

The story about Robert Biggs, age 69, broke in Tuesday’s Paradise Post piece:

He wrestled with the cat, striking it in the head with a rock pick. The cat screamed when it was hit with the pick, but didn’t let go, Biggs said. Before he knew it, the mother bear came from behind and pounced on the cat, tearing its grip from the backpack.

The bear and the cat battled for about 15 seconds, Biggs said, until the cat finally ran away. The bear went on its way as well. Biggs ended up with bite marks, scratches and bruises to his arm, but was otherwise uninjured.

Played Patty-Cake with a Bear Cub?

Many people, me included, have a hard time believing the story. And Biggs added another twist to the tale: he claims he once played patty-cake with the cub of the bear that saved him.

Biggs’ story has since been featured nationwide and internationally, including on Fox News and in the Huffington Post. California Fish and Game officials aren’t giving much credence to the alleged events and recently visited with Biggs to gather evidence. From a newer story in the Paradise Post:

Harry Morse, a Public Information Officer with Department of Fish and Game said in a statement the “DFG has no current plans to pursue a lion that Biggs claimed he injured with a pick during the fight.” He said a warden found no physical evidence to substantiate an attack on the clothes or any injury consistent with a lion attack. Foy said they did not find any tears in clothing but did find blood on the back pack. The department is going to test the DNA to determine if the blood belonged to the mountain lion.

 Video Interview with Robert Biggs

Here’s a video of an interview with Robert Biggs that accompanied the latest Paradise Post. He discusses the incident, the press coverage, and talking with Fish and Game officials.

April 4, 2012 Update…

A new article in the Paradise Post states that the Department of Fish and Game found no evidence of bear or lion blood or saliva on mister Biggs’s daypack, or any evidence to corroborate his story:

Macintyre said there was no indication of any lion or bear blood present on the pack and the test found that no saliva, or even a single hair was present on the backpack, and it was clean of any dirt with only one tear (less than approximately a half inch).

Macintyre told the Post when a typical mountain lion attacks a human, the front paws grab the shoulders, the back paws dig into the lower back and they bite down on the head. Had Biggs been attacked by a lion, the backpack would have more damage to it. There also would have been hair and saliva on the pack Biggs provided DFG.

Your Take

I personally have a hard time believing Mister Biggs, in large part because what he states is so unlikely. That doesn’t mean it’s not true, however — statistically unlikely events do happen. What are your thoughts?

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