California hiker has face-to-face encounter with bear on trail

SIERRA MADRE, Calif. — sWhen one encounters a bear on a hiking trail, here’s some simple advice -- let it pass.

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“We called truce,” California resident Victoria Pham wrote in an Instagram post.

Pham, of Alhambra, California, is a frequent hiker and was walking along the Mount Wilson Hiking Trail in the Sierra Madre Mountains when she saw a bear ambling toward her, KABC-TV reported.

“I noticed this black bear coming down, and it was very calm and chill, just trotting along down the trail, and I noticed there were hikers above as well,” Pham told the television station. “So the bear was between me and the hikers.”

Instead of panicking, Pham remained quiet and the bear walked past Pham and other hikers without incident, KTLA-TV reported.

Pham said she once worked for the Yosemite National Park’s search and rescue team, so she knew what to do if she encountered the animal.

“Well, I can’t outrun the bear and I can’t really go either way off the trail, so I’m just going to let this bear pass,” Pham told KABC. “This bear just came and had my phone out and I just let it pass,” Pham continued. “He looked at me, and I looked at him and I was like, ‘Cool, man!’”

Lynne Levin-Guzman, who can be heard on Pham’s video, said this is not the first time she has seen a bear up close.

“I’m not scared because we literally had a bear live at our house, under our deck,” Levin-Guzman told KTLA. “This is Sierra Madre.”

In her Instagram post, Pham said she would have reacted differently if she was not in California.

“Know that if I was in Montana or anywhere else in the world, I most definitely would NOT be standing there letting it pass,” she wrote.

The National Park Service advises hikers to remain calm if they encounter a bear. Officials said the animals want to be left alone and will only attack if provoked.


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