Warned about unattended food and the dangers of bears in Mammoth Lakes, some participants in the Labor Day Art Festiva


Ceramic artist, Donald Jower, was calm and cool about his encounter with a young bear. (Photo by Cleland Hoff)

left food out anyway. A bear-people encounter followed. One man said a young bear swiped at him.

Mammoth’s Wildlife Specialist Steve Searles said the people who left food out at the art festival were cited and fined and will go to court in October. Searles said they left food out accessible to bears. He said they were told by the event organizer not to do that.

A young bear did get into the food, was surprised suddenly by people, ran out and into ceramic artist Donald Jower from the Bay area. Cleland Hoff talked to Jower about what was apparently a bite by the panicked bear. Jower was very calm about the whole thing.

Jower called his experience “kind of interesting.” He said he knows bears are all around and has seen them in Mammoth before. “This was a happenchance incident,” he said. “It will probably never happen again.” Searles said the case is closed.