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Back to Bear Stuff TopTwo Hikers Clawed by Bears while trying to Scare Them

Food was improperly stored in trees.

Sequoia National Park (AP) -- Aug. 18, 2001

Two backpackers trying to protect their food were clawed by black bears at national parks, one a t Sequoia and the other at Kings Canyon, authorities said Friday.

The hikers  were not seriously hurt in the incidents last week at remote backcountry lakes in the high Sierra.

In both instances, the men had improperly stored food in trees and then tried to scare the bears away once they had reached the food, park spokeswoman Kris Fister said Friday.

"If you're in a situation when they've already got your food, it will be very difficult to get the bears away from it," Fister said.

One backpacker was injured Aug. 9  at Soldier Lakes in Sequoia National Park when the startled bear bolted from the tree and ran over him.

The second incident happened Aug. 10 at Kearsarge Lakes in adjacent Kings Canyon National Park when two backpackers tried to roust a bear by yelling and throwing rocks.

One man was clawed as the bear ran away.

"The kicker is they thought the bear was gone, so they went back to sleep," Fister said, "and it came back."

The same man was clawed again while trying to frighten the animal. He was treated at a hospital and released.

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