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Grizzly Bear Attacks

New York Hiker “Severely Mauled” By Grizzly Bear Near Meeteetse On Monday

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

An hiker from Buffalo, New York, was attacked by a grizzly bear on Monday near Meeteetse, Wyoming Game and Fish Department and Park County sheriff’s officials announced Tuesday.

On Monday, the Park County Sheriff’s Office notified the Game and Fish Department that a 68-year-old man had been injured by a bear while hiking Francs Peak west of Meeteetse. The unidentified man was flown to a hospital in Billings, Montana, where he was receiving treatment.

Cody Wildlife Management Coordinator Corey Class told Cowboy State Daily that this is possibly the second bear encounter that has occurred within a week.

“We are in the process of investigating a report of another bear encounter that occurred late last week and reportedly resulted in minor human injury,” Class said. “No further details are available for this incident and the joint U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/WGFD investigation is ongoing.”

According to sheriff’s officials, the department’s communications division received a report of a possible downed aircraft in the Francs Peak area from the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center, which was was receiving a distress signal.

It was later found that the signal came from the injured man’s personal locator beacon.

The man was on a multi-day backpacking trip and had been “severely” mauled, sheriff’s officials said Tuesday.

The hiker’s medical status was not available as of Tuesday.

“We wish the individual a full and speedy recovery,” Class said.

According to Game and Fish Department officials, based on the initial investigation, the incident appears to have been the result of surprise encounter between the individual and a grizzly bear.

Class would not specify on Tuesday whether this was an encounter that could have been avoided or not, referring back to the initial Game and Fish Department release.

The man, an experienced recreationist, was hiking at high elevation when he encountered the bear at close range. The incident happened too suddenly for him to deploy the bear spray he was carrying, department officials said.  

Based on the information gathered during the initial investigation, the Game and Fish Department plans no management action at this time, but staff will continue to monitor bear activity in the area and make management decisions in the best interest of public safety.

According to the Powell Tribune, only one conflict between grizzly bears and humans has resulted in permanent removal from Wyoming’s ecosystem so far this year. In 2021, 31 grizzlies were removed in management decisions in Wyoming.

In April, the department’s large carnivore biologists removed a grizzly for cattle depredation in a collaborative decision with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The outlet also reported that the department averages about 20 relocations a year in a labor-intensive process involving multiple agencies and boots on the ground. 

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Grizzly Who Killed Montana Man Will Not Be Pursued, Officials Say

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By Jimmy Orr, Cowboy State Daily

The grizzly bear believed responsible for killing a Montana man last week will not be pursued or tracked down because it is not believed to be a predatory attack, officials said on Monday.

Craig Clouatre, 40, was discovered dead on Friday after failing to return from a hike in the Absaroka Mountains where he and a friend were hunting for antler sheds.

Park County (Montana) Sheriff Brad Bichler said there was no evidence that the attack was predatory in nature.

“This doesn’t appear to be an attack where the bear sought out the person,” Bichler told the Associated Press on Monday.  “It wasn’t like the bear came down into a campground and nabbed someone.”

Grizzly attacks are not uncommon in the area. Just under a year ago, a West Yellowstone, Montana man was mauled to death two miles west of the Wyoming state line.

Authorities believe in that case, the grizzly was defending a moose carcass. 

Last July, a woman was dragged from her tent in the middle of the night by a 400-pound male grizzly.

Awakened by her screams, two campers tried to intervene to save the woman by spraying the grizzly with bear spray but were unsuccessful as the woman died shortly after the attack.

In a Facebook post on Sunday morning, Bichler asked the community to be respectful of Clouatre’s family and not to speculate on the page.

“I visited with Craig’s wife this morning and she has reiterated  to me that she and the family understand that Craig loved to be in wild places and was well aware of the risks involved with that,” Bichler said.

“With all of that being said, we have had some topics come up in regards to this tragedy that would be better suited to be discussed outside this social media platform,” he said.

A GoFundMe page has been set-up to support Clouatre’s family. So far more than $95,000 has been raised.

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Montana Man Killed In Grizzly Attack North Of Yellowstone

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By Jimmy Orr, Cowboy State Daily

A Montana man who was reported missing after hiking with a friend earlier this week was killed by a grizzly bear north of Yellowstone National Park, officials announced Friday.

Park County (Montana) Sheriff Brad Bichler said searchers had found Craig Clouatre, 40, early Friday afternoon.

“It appears he had an encounter with a grizzly and unfortunately did not survive,” Bichler said.  “We will continue to work through the afternoon to bring Craig home. Please keep his family and all those involved in your thoughts and prayers.”

Clouatre and a friend on Wednesday morning went to the Six Mile Area of the Absaroka Mountains to hunt for antler sheds.

Sheriff Bichler said the two split up that morning and Clouatre was not heard from again.

“When the other man returned to their vehicle and his friend wasn’t there, he called us and we began searching on Wednesday night,” the sheriff told the Livingston Enterprise.

An extensive search was called with helicopters, horse teams, and ground teams all being used.

“After flying thermal imaging late into the night, the search for Craig continues this morning,” Bichler had announced early on Friday.

Friends of Clouatre expressed their sympathies on the Park County Sheriff’s Facebook page.

“Craig was an awesome man,” wrote Paula Hill Laubach.  “It was an honor to have called him a friend. Thoughts are prayers are with his family.”

Tragedy struck the Clouatre’s family two years ago when their house burned down. Anne Tanner, a friend of the victim, told the Associated Press that the family had just recently recovered from the fire.

“He was finally just getting their house together,” Tanner said. “It just makes me angry that something like this could happen to such a good person…Of all the men I know, I can’t believe he would die in the wilderness. He was so strong and he was so smart.”

Clouatre was married to his wife Jamie and they had four children.

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Man Who Was Mauled By Grizzly Killed Bear, Game And Fish Kills Her Cubs

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

A man who was mauled by a grizzly bear over the weekend near Cody actually killed the female grizzly that attacked him, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department announced Tuesday.

Around 7:30 a.m. Saturday, the sheriff’s office’s communications division received a report from an injured hunter. The 45-year-old man told dispatchers that he had been mauled by a grizzly, sustained injuries and needed assistance.

The unidentified man had been elk hunting west of Cody and was attacked after a sudden encounter at close range with the female grizzly who had two cubs with her.

The injured hunter and his hunting partner killed the adult grizzly and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, in coordination with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, later killed the two cubs, the Game and Fish Department said.

“The safety of outdoor recreationists is always at the forefront of our minds,” said Cody Regional Wildlife Supervisor Dan Smith for Wyoming Game and Fish. “Our thoughts are with the individual who was injured and we wish him a full and speedy recovery.”

The Fish and Wildlife Service, also offered its condolences to the injured hunter.

“The service sends our thoughts to the injured individual as he recovers,” said Dan Coil, Special Agent in Charge for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “The service partners with states to manage grizzly bears in grizzly country and appreciates Wyoming Game and Fish responding to the incident.”

The man was around five miles from U.S. Highway 14 when he called in the report of the attack. Upon notification, the Game and Fish Department immediately responded to the scene.

Park County Search and Rescue, a Guardian helicopter from Riverton and a Cody Regional Health ambulance were all immediately paged to respond. The injured hunter was transported out of the wilderness with the rest of his hunting party and met the search and rescue team Saturday morning near the Shoshone River. He was treated and then flown by helicopter to a Billings hospital.

His injuries are reported not to be life threatening.

The incident is still under investigation and under the direction of Fish and Wildlife.

Grizzly bears in Wyoming and the lower 48 states are protected under the federal Endangered Species Act. The Service continues to work collaboratively with Wyoming and other states in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem to manage grizzly bears.

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Man Mauled By Grizzly Near Cody Over Weekend

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

A man was mauled by a grizzly bear near Cody over the weekend, the Park County Sheriff’s Office announced Monday.

Around 7:30 a.m. Saturday, the sheriff’s office’s communications division received a report from an injured hunter. The 45-year-old man told dispatchers that he had been mauled by a grizzly, sustained injuries and needed assistance.

He was around five miles from U.S. Highway 14 when he called in the report.

Park County Search and Rescue, a Guardian helicopter from Riverton and a Cody Regional Health ambulance were all immediately paged to respond. During this time, the injured hunter made the decision to ride out of the wilderness with the rest of his hunting party to meet emergency responders.

The search and rescue team contacted him around 9:30 a.m. on the north side of the Shoshone River. Thirty minutes later, the hunter and ground team arrived at the staging area and he was treated by emergency personnel.

He was transported by helicopter to Billings for further care.

The mauling is currently under investigation by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

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Grizzly With Cubs Attack Two Hikers in Montana

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Two people were injured late Tuesday when they were attacked by a grizzly bear in southwestern Montana, officials said.

Around 8:30 p.m., two men were hiking with a dog off-trail in the Bear Creek area southeast of Ennis, Montana when they encountered a sow grizzly bear with cubs at close range. Sows with cubs can be especially defensive in close encounters with people.

During the encounter, the two hikers were injured by the bear. However, they were able to use bear spray to defend themselves.

Both hikers were able to leave the attack site without assistance and received treatment for relatively minor injuries.

A game warden with Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks investigated the scene of the attack on Wednesday with law enforcement staff from the U.S. Forest Service. The trail nearest the incident has been closed and signed temporarily as a precaution.

Other trails in this area have also been signed, advising visitors of the incident, but no further action will be taken.

Officials believe this attack was likely defensive in nature.

This is the second time in recent weeks that a grizzly has injured someone in Montana. Last month, a woman was killed by a grizzly while in her tent.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a report this week regarding a West Yellowstone man who was killed earlier this year by a grizzly guarding a moose carcass. The grizzly in that incident was later killed after it charged wildlife investigators.

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West Yellowstone Man Found To Be At Fault For Fatal Grizzly Attack

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

A West Yellowstone, Montana, man was ultimately found to be at fault for causing the fatal grizzly attack that resulted in his death earlier this year.

Charles “Carl” Wesley Mock, 40, was attacked by a grizzly bear on April 15 near the Baker’s Hole Campground, just outside of Yellowstone National Park two miles west of the Wyoming state line. He was alone and parked his vehicle at the campground entrance, both of which are well-posted with grizzly information.

A report on an investigation into the attack by officials from Wyoming, Idaho and Montana was released this week by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“The tragic event of Mr. Mock being attacked by an adult male grizzly bear and subsequently dying from the attack, was the direct result of Mr. Mock’s own purposeful or random placed proximity to a moose carcass that an adult male bear had cached and was actively feeding on,” the report said.

“A short time before the adult male bear attacked Mr. Mock it may have defended or claimed the  moose carcass from another grizzly bear. If so, this would have contributed to the bear’s  extended aggressive defense of the moose carcass,” the report said.

Mock died two days after the attack from complications due to his severe head and neck injuries.

Officials couldn’t say whether Mock purposely went to the site of the attack. He was in possession of fishing gear and a telephoto lens, and the closest point to the Madison River is about 400 yards northeast of the attack site.

An examination of Mock’s fishing gear showed he hadn’t been actively fishing at the time the attack occurred.

It is estimated Mock was in the area for less than 90 minutes, but it can’t be determined exactly how long he’d been at the site before being attacked. It also isn’t clear whether Mock came upon the animal feeding or if he was already at the site and the grizzly happened upon the moose carcass.

An empty cannister of bear spray was found at the scene and the bear carcass’ hair contained bear spray residue, so officials did determine Mock was definitely aware of the potential for grizzly encounters in the area. It is unclear at what point during the attack (if not before) Mock used the bear spray.

While the overall effects of the bear spray on the grizzly aren’t known, the bear did quit attacking Mock at some point. Mock moved away and called 911, but the bear remained agitated, close to the attack site and the moose carcass.

The grizzly was killed April 16 as it charged the investigation team.

“The unfortunate subsequent death of Mr. Charles (Carl) Mock caused by a grizzly bear attack…reinforces the inherent possibility of people being involved in a serious grizzly  bear encounter and the need for individuals to know and try to follow known safety recommendations,” the report said.

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Montana Wildlife Officials Kill Grizzly Suspected of Fatally Attacking Woman

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Montana wildlife officials shot and killed a grizzly bear early Friday morning that was believed to have dragged a woman from her tent in Montana earlier this week and killed her.

The bear was killed less than two miles from Ovando, a Montana town of fewer than 100 people and the place the woman was killed Tuesday morning.

“Last night, the Powell County Sheriff’s Office took a report from a resident who came home and found her door ripped off and large claw marks were present,” the sheriff’s office said on Facebook Friday. “A short time later a male grizzly bear was killed in the area.”

The bear was killed after being caught raiding a chicken coop in an attack similar to one that occurred the night the woman was killed.

Given the proximity to Tuesday’s attack and the evidence found at the scene, Montana Fish, Wildlife &Parks officials believe the bear killed was the same one that attacked the woman, who was staying in a tent outside of an Ovando museum the night she was killed. However, offiicials said confirming DNA analysis will take a few days.

“Based on the size of the bear, the color of the bear and the nature of the chicken coop raids, we’re confident we’ve got the offending bear,” FWP spokesman Greg Lemon told CBS on Friday morning.

“We hope to make positive identification within the next couple of days,” Powell County officials said. “Early indications are that this is likely the bear that was involved in Tuesday’s attack.”

On the night the camper was killed, a chicken coop in the Ovando area was raided by the bear. Another coop was raided by a bear on Wednesday night, about 48 hours after the attack in Ovando. FWP specialists set a trap at a third coop on Thursday and USDA Wildlife Services specialists were monitoring the trap Thursday night when the bear approached and was shot.

Wildlife Services specialists were assisting at the request of FWP officials, anticipating the bear would return to the coop. They used night vision technology to aid in shooting the bear.

DNA samples from the bear will be compared to samples taken from the scene of the fatal attack Tuesday to confirm it was the responsible bear.

In the meantime, FWP staff will remain vigilant and keep at least one trap set near the first chicken coop that was raided on the outskirts of Ovando.

According to the Powell County, Montana, Sheriff’s Office, three campers were spending the night in their tents outside of an Ovando museum Tuesday.

At approximately 3 a.m., a 400-pound male grizzly awakened the campers, but ran away.

The campers removed food from their tents and secured it in an area designated for food storage before going back to bed. While Lemon said this could have been a reason for the bear being interested in the victim’s tent, it was still unusual for it to be so aggressive.

A security camera at a business a block away captured footage of the bear at 3:15 a.m.

Fifteen minutes later, two people in a tent were awakened by screams as the grizzly returned and pulled the victim out of her tent.

The campers sprayed the grizzly with bear spray, causing it to retreat. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to CBS, the victim was a 65-year-old Chico, California, resident named Leah Davis Lokan.

According to CBS, Lokan was an experienced outdoorswoman and cyclist who was on a mountain biking trip. She and her party were camped by Ovando’s post office early Tuesday when she was attacked.

Friends described Lokan as a free spirit, competitive and adventuresome who was aware of the dangers she faced on the trip.

Lemon told Cowboy State Daily on Thursday that one of the wildlife specialists’ biggest concerns about the bear was its lack of fear of people and populated areas, not a common trait in wild animals.

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Montana Wildlife Officials Concerned Killer Grizzly Didn’t Show Fear of People

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials are concerned that a grizzly bear believed to be responsible for killing a woman earlier this week showed no fear of humans or populated areas in the hours before the attack occurred.

Greg Lemon, spokesman for the department, told Cowboy State Daily on Thursday that officials are still looking for the grizzly that pulled the 65-year-old woman out of her tent Tuesday morning and killed her near Ovando, Montana.

“We’ve got traps out and some folks out in the area searching for him,” Lemon said. “We flew in helicopters around the area and looked on the ground, but we didn’t come up with anything.”

However, a video taken of the bear the night of the attack is of high enough quality that officials believe they could identify the bear when and if it is captured.

Plus, FWP officials have taken DNA samples from the victim, which can help them identify the bear.

Lemon noted it is incredibly rare for a bear to kill a person, especially unprovoked, adding that in his memory, the last time a bear attacked a person without provocation was a decade ago in a campground near Yellowstone National Park.

“In the vast majority of instances, the bears are doing what they normally do, such as protecting their cubs or a food source,” Lemon said. “It’s unfortunate when people get hurt, but most grizzly encounters don’t end in injury to the bear or the human.”

He added it was unusual the bear didn’t seem to have much fear of humans or populated places, since it came back to the campground after being chased away and also went into Ovando to look for other food sources.

According to the Powell County, Montana, Sheriff’s Office, three campers were spending the night in their tents outside of an Ovando museum Tuesday.

At approximately 3 a.m., a 400-pound male grizzly awakened the campers, but ran away.

The campers removed food from their tents and secured it in an area designated for food storage before going back to bed. While Lemon said this could have been a reason for the bear being interested in the victim’s tent, it was still unusual for it to be so aggressive.

A security camera at a business a block away captured footage of the bear at 3:15 a.m.

Fifteen minutes later, two people in a tent were awakened by screams as the grizzly returned and pulled the victim out of her tent.

The campers sprayed the grizzly with bear spray, causing it to retreat. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

Officials said the bear at some point in the evening killed and ate several chickens after breaking into a chicken coop in the town.

The bear will be killed if FWP officials manage to catch him. If not, they will keep his DNA sample on file and hope there are no more aggressive encounters between the bear and livestock, pets or humans.

“This isn’t our typical response when we have a bear encounter, but given the circumstances and the bear’s behavior, this just isn’t acceptable,” Lemon said.

All campsites in Ovando will be closed until Sunday. 

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Grizzly Kills Camper In Montana, Officials Still Hunting For Animal

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

A person was killed early Tuesday morning by a grizzly bear near a small town in northwestern Montana, according to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials.

The bear still hadn’t been caught as of Tuesday morning. A video camera from a local business caught footage of a grizzly on Monday night, and a bear also got into a chicken coop in the area.

“There was an earlier contact with the bear prior to the event,” Sheriff Gavin Roselles told the Associated Press. “The bear basically came back into the campsite. It wandered into a campsite a couple different times.”

The attack occurred at about 3:30am near Ovando, a town of about 50 residents in Montana’s Blackfoot Valley area. Bears are common in the area.

Nearby campers called 911 during the attack and local medical personnel were unsuccessful in reviving the victim.

The bear left the scene, authorities said, after a camper in the area used bear spray.

“Our first concern is the community’s wellbeing. The next step is to find the bear,” FWP spokesman Greg Lemon said.

The identity of the victim was not immediately released and an investigation into the attack was being conducted Tuesday.

Officials didn’t say exactly where the attack occurred, but the local sheriff said other people were camping in the vicinity. Lemon also said the victim was part of a group on a bike trip.

“All indications are that this encounter was with a grizzly bear, and that a team of law enforcement and state wildlife specialists are searching for the bear,” Roselles told NBC Montana.

A team of wildlife and law enforcement personnel have begun a search for the grizzly near the town of Ovando.

“We have traffic control in place for crime scene management and we’re getting ready to look for the bear,” Roselles said. “We’ve alerted campsites in the immediate area, but we don’t anticipate threats to other people in the area. We’re not encouraging people to come into the area.”

In April, a backcountry guide was killed by a grizzly bear while fishing along the Yellowstone National Park border in southwestern Montana.

In 2016, an off-duty U.S. Forest Service law enforcement officer was fatally mauled in the region after he collided with a grizzly while mountain biking in Flathead National Forest.

A young black bear was killed by Montana FWP officials in June after breaking into a home while its residents weren’t home.

A woman was killed by a black bear in Colorado earlier this year.

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Grizzly Attack Victim Says Grizzlies Are “Apex Killing Machines” & Need to be Delisted

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Shanun Rammell and his wife had chased the grizzly off of their property twice in a yearlong span before the attack.

And after the attack, Rammell is convinced the bears don’t need the protection afforded by the Endangered Species Act.

“You get a lot of people who think these are cute, cuddly teddy bears, but they’re apex killing machines,” he told Cowboy State Daily.

“This is a problem and (the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) are here to protect the bears at all costs,” he continued. “This isn’t a grizzly’s habitat anymore.”

The Montana native lives in a secluded area of Choteau, Montana. When he got a tip from a neighbor last summer that the bear was back on his land a third time, he went looking for it.

He confronted the bear in an abandoned shed on his property, and thankfully lived to tell the tale, something not every person who encounters a grizzly can attest to.

The bear threw him around like a ragdoll, all while his wife and one of his 10 children were watching.

His wife, Jamie Rammell, tried to run over the bear with their vehicle, but it ran off when it heard the engine turn over.

Nine days later, the bear returned, coming close to attacking one of Rammell’s daughters.

“I was in a Fish and Game truck after the bear attacked my daughter and they wouldn’t kill the bear,” Rammell said. “He’s still out, wandering around. I haven’t seen him, but one of my neighbors saw him around Thanksgiving.”

The attack on Rammell was one of the few bear attacks to take place in far-eastern Montana in more than 100 years.

For nearly a year, Rammell has been working with Montana legislators to help get the grizzly bear taken off the endangered species list, noting how the species is no longer threatened and is actually found in abundance in the region.

“There’s just way too many of them,” he said. “When they’re cruising 50 miles away in the prairie, there’s a problem. All they do now is kill cattle and sheep and tear barn doors off to get to grains.”

Many Wyoming officials agree with Rammell about delisting grizzlies, but they probably haven’t been as close to a grizzly’s claws as he has.

Last week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recommended that no change be made to the to the grizzlies’ status as threatened under the Endangered Species Act for at least five years.

But Wyoming officials maintain the recommendation is not based in the reality of what is happening with the bears in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem.

“The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem bear population is booming, growing from as few as 136 bears during early recovery periods to potentially more than 1,000 in the ecosystem today,” said Brian Nesvik, director of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

The Fish and Wildlife Service’s recommendation to leave the bears on the list came after a thorough review of the best available science, the agency said in a statement, which was informed by an independently peer-review species status assessment.

The recommendation did confirm that grizzly populations in the Greater Yellowstone and Northern Continental Divide ecosystems are biologically recovered. However, the five-year status review would allow for assessment of the species as a whole across the 48 contiguous states.

The assessment will evaluate the species’ current needs, conditions and threats, as well as modeling future scenarios. The remaining challenges with their threatened status include limited habitat connectivity, management of access by motorized vehicles, human-caused mortality and uncertainty surrounding future conservation efforts in some ecosystems, according to the Fish and Wildlife Service.

Grizzlies were originally listed as threatened in 1975 and then removed from the endangered species list in 2017 by the Fish and Wildlife Service, which cited a significant increase in bear populations.

However, in 2018, a federal court reversed the agency’s decision.

Rammell called the decision to keep the grizzlies on the endangered species list “all politics.”

He has seen the damage that has been done to the species by trying to keep them on the threatened list (such as overpopulation and a lack of food), and believes states need to manage the bear population.

“It’s all about who you know,” he said. “My daughter is still having nightmares about the attack.”

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Two Grizzlies Killed in Separate Incidents With Archery Hunters in Northwest Wyoming

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are investigating the deaths of two grizzly bears in separate confrontations with bow hunters in northwestern Wyoming.

In a news release issued Monday, the department said on Thursday night, a man who was archery hunting for elk in the Thorofare area was attacked and injured by a grizzly.

The bear was killed in the incident. The hunter was airlifted to a local hospital and received treatment.

In an incident on Saturday, a grizzly charged an archery hunter on Rattlesnake Mountain west of Cody. The bear was killed in the incident, but the hunter was uninjured.

Because grizzly bears are currently listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, Game and Fish coordinates extensively with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on any grizzly bear-related conflicts.

None of the grizzly skirmishes in Wyoming this year have ended with human fatalities. The last major report of a grizzly and human encounter in the state was in the Cody area back in July.

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Man Follows Park Service Advice & Helps Friend Attacked By Grizzly Rather Than Pushing Him Down

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Just last month the National Park Service advised people not to push their friends down in front of a bear if they are attacked.

That advice apparently works.

Two archery hunters from Idaho came upon a grizzly bear on Friday morning and one started to get mauled.

Instead of ensuring his friend was down on the ground and then running away, his friend decided — just like the Park Service advised — to help instead.

What makes this story even more bizarre is that this bear attack appears not to have been started by idiotic behavior of humans.

Unlike the Montana man who went searching for a grizzly bear in an abandoned barn (he found it) or the Montana woman who wasn’t paying attention while trail running and literally bounced off a grizzly, these two hunters appeared not to have done anything overwhelmingly stupid.

In fact, the Idaho Fish and Game Department credits the archery hunters for how they handled the situation: they were prepared.

The department said the victim (hunter #1) was pursuing an elk in a remote area of the Caribou-Targhee National Forest when he and his hunting companion (hunter #2) encountered the bear in thick brush.

Although you are supposed to be loud in grizzly country to not surprise a bear (Montana man: please take note), it kind of defeats the purpose when you are hunting — because you also alert the animal you’re hunting.

Regardless, the grizzly apparently went after hunter #1 who was able to deploy his bear spray right before he got knocked to the ground.

Following National Park Service advice of not pushing your friend down in front of the bear and running away, hunter #2 actually helped his buddy.

“The hunting companion came to his aid and deployed his own bear spray canister, shortening the duration of the attack and causing the bear to flee the area,” the department said.

“Their preparedness and use of bear spray allowed both hunters to walk out of the backcountry on their own accord to call for help,” they said.

As for the health of the hunter, he’ll be ok, apparently. He was transported to a local hospital for treatment.

To warn other visitors of bear in the bear country, the department is putting up signs to let them know there are bears present in the bear country.

Hopefully the signs will alert people who are in bear country that there are bears in the bear area.

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Hikers Run From Grizzly While Onlookers Laugh

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GRIZZLY BEAR VIDEO: Thanks to Dulé Krivdich for sending in this video of grizzly bear running towards a group of hikers…

Posted by NBC Montana on Monday, August 31, 2020

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It’s a crazy video. Terrifying, even.

A group of hikers spotted a grizzly on a trail near Hidden Lake at Glacier National Park on Sunday.  Then this group of hikers saw another group of hikers on the same trail as the grizzly.

They did what any good neighbor would do. Start filming it.

Then, they let them know of the pending doom.

“We, from above, start yelling that there is a bear barreling down the same trail,” Dulé Krivdich told NBC Montana.

Krivdich said the three hikers yelled up at them asking what they should do.

“Make some noise,” Krivdich and his wife yelled. “Make some noise!”

At that time the grizzly starts sprinting (or whatever it’s called when a grizzly bear moves fast).

“Oh shit,” Krivdich said in the video (of course he kept the camera rolling). His wife, meanwhile yelled: “Get off the trail!”

“But just then, the griz made a bluff charge and we saw people booking it like we’ve never ever seen before in our lives,” Krivdich told the TV station.

Then you hear a lot of screaming from both groups of hikers and, in the background, some laughing.

“They shouldn’t run,” Krivdich’s wife said.  Then she yelled: “Don’t run, don’t run!” as the hikers are moving at a pretty impressive clip.

“Don’t run dudes,” Krivdich yelled. But then he started laughing when he saw how quickly they were running.

“Look at ‘em. Ha ha ha ha ha,” he laughed.

To be fair, the bear didn’t show any interest in pursuing those hikers and it was a really nervous situation so it’s not as though he was cheering on the grizzly like he was watching a gladiator fight in Ancient Rome.

“Thank goodness that it all went well afterwards,” he said. “Other than that it was a beautiful day for a hike down to Hidden Lake.”

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Man Mauled By Grizzly Bear Upset Grizzly Bear Is Still Alive

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His reaction is understandable. After all, he said, the grizzly tried to rip his shoulder off.

Shanun Rammel, who was mauled by a grizzly last month, isn’t happy Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (FWP) officials haven’t killed that bear yet.

It doesn’t appear to be the agency’s fault, however. It’s just that the grizzly has completely disappeared — like a ghost.

As you may recall, Rammel, the father of 10 who runs a firewood business, got a tip from a neighbor that a grizzly might be near his home. 

Like a teenager in a slasher movie (or Geico commercial), he decided to check an abandoned shed near his property. When Rammel opened the door, all hell broke loose.

The startled bear did what startled bears do, which is never a good thing if you’re next to that bear.

Now, it’s not as though Montana’s FWP hasn’t been doing anything.

According to Montana TV station KRTV, the agency had been searching for the bear for 12 straight days using helicopters, fixed-wing planes, infrared cameras, and ground patrols but came up empty.

So they discontinued the search.

That didn’t sit well with Rammel. He thinks the offending grizzly is still in his area.

“We’ve got tracks of the grizzly right next to the ponds,” Rammel told the TV station. “And my neighbors have got pictures.”

To be fair, Rammel isn’t recommending FWP carpet-bomb the entire state of Montana, he just thinks it could do more.

The agency, instead of continuing the search for the bear, put up an electric fence around Rammel’s property — something that he’s not a big fan of.

Remember, Rammel has 10 children. Many of whom, he says, don’t understand what an electric fence is.

“I have a three-year-old, a five-year-old, and a six-year-old that don’t have a clue what it is,” Rammel’s wife Jamie said. “They say it shocks really hard, so I worry.”

In the meantime, if you’d like to help the Rammel family, a GoFundMe page has been set up here.

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Badass Mama Grizzly Bear Stands Up To Pack Of Wolves Harassing Her Cubs

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This mother grizzly bear and her 2 cubs of the year were harassed and chased off by some members of the Junction Butte pack! Luckily the bears got away safely and there were no fatalities. This is one of the most epic bear/wolf interactions I’ve ever seen. Epic day in Yellowstone, as usual. Taken by Taylor Bland 🐻🐺

Posted by Yellowstone Wolf Tracker on Thursday, 6 August 2020

Whenever there’s a bear story, chances are we’re on the bear’s side.

That’s because the bear usually seems to be the victim of something stupid that a human does.

Bears don’t like to be surprised.  But time and time again this summer, bears have reacted instinctively because humans surprised them.

Then, many times, humans kill the bears because of mistakes humans made.

As an example, somebody leaves food out at a campsite. A bear gets used to grazing on that food. If the behavior continues (and why wouldn’t it), then wildlife agencies put down the bear.

Thankfully, in this story, there are no stupid humans. 

Taylor Bland is a wildlife guide at Yellowstone Wolf Tracker. The company describes itself as a “wildlife adventure company.”

The company explains that their speciality is wolf and bear-watching.  Because all of their guides are experienced wildlife biologists, chances are they won’t be the subject of a bear mauling — which is a nice bonus for 2020.

Bland was out on a safari in Yellowstone where she filmed what she called “the most epic bear-wolf interaction [she’s] ever seen.”

It is magnificent footage and we can’t help root for the mama grizzly bear as the pack of wolves seem intent making one of her cubs their prey.

Thankfully, the grizzly won and her cubs were safe. As a nice bonus, nothing happened to the wolves either.

“Epic day in Yellowstone, as usual,” Bland writes.

This mother grizzly bear and her 2 cubs of the year were harassed and chased off by some members of the Junction Butte pack! Luckily the bears got away safely and there were no fatalities. This is one of the most epic bear/wolf interactions I’ve ever seen. Epic day in Yellowstone, as usual. Taken by Taylor Bland 🐻🐺

Posted by Yellowstone Wolf Tracker on Thursday, 6 August 2020

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National Park Service Recommends Not Pushing Your Friend Down in Case of Bear Attack

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You have to admire any government agency that steps away from standard government language to deliver a message that people may actually read.

The National Park Service did that today in a Facebook post designed to help people not get mauled by bears.

It’s a problem. Grizzly bear attacks, for example, are running at historic highs for this time of season in the Greater Yellowstone Region.

So the National Park Service put together some tips — interspersed with much-needed humor — to help novices who really don’t belong out in the wilderness anyway.

“Please don’t run from bears or push your slower friends down in attempts of saving yourself,” the post reads.

“If you come upon a stationary bear, move away slowly and sideways; this allows you to keep an eye on the bear and avoid tripping. Moving sideways is also non-threatening to bears. Do NOT run, but if the bear follows, stop and hold your ground. Like dogs, they will chase fleeing animals. Do NOT climb a tree. Both grizzlies and black bears can climb trees,” they write.

Our favorite part is next: “Do NOT push down a slower friend (even if you think the friendship has run its course).”

The rest of the advice is pretty simple and good to remember.

“Stay calm and remember that most bears do not want to attack you; they usually just want to be left alone. Don’t we all? Identify yourself by making noise so the bear knows you are a human and not a prey animal. Help the bear recognize you as a human. 

“We recommend using your voice. (Waving and showing off your opposable thumb means nothing to the bear) The bear may come closer or stand on its hind legs to get a better look or smell. A standing bear is usually curious, not threatening.”

Our favorite part is the ending:

“P.S. We apologize to any ‘friends’ who were brought on a hike as the ‘bait’ or were sacrificed to save the group. You will be missed.”

Find more tips, check out https://www.nps.gov/subjects/bears/index.htm

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Grizzly Euthanized After Killing Cattle

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

A grizzly bear was euthanized after killing a cow on private land in Montana last week.

According to a news release from the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, the adult male bear was captured shortly after it killed the cow on July 29. In consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the decision was made to euthanize the bear due to this depredation and past livestock kills in the area.

Relocating bears safely at this time of year is difficult due to many factors, including high bear densities, heavy recreation use and other land usage in nearby areas, the department said.

This is the second management removal of a grizzly bear this year within the demographic monitoring area of Montana’s portion of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. 

The first grizzly bear removed in this area in 2020 was captured and transferred to the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone after gaining access to food at campgrounds in the Rainbow Point area.

Grizzly bears in the lower 48 states are currently listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

Several grizzly bear recovery areas exist in or near Montana, including the Selkirk, Cabinet-Yaak, Northern Continental Divide, Bitterroot and Greater Yellowstone ecosystems.

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Unusual Good News In 2020: Videocamera Catches Grizzlies Not Mauling People But Playing Instead

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Grizzly Cam!Every year Fish and Game biologists place GPS collars on grizzly bears to learn about their reproduction, survival, and distribution across the ecosystem. A recently retrieved game camera shows a female grizzly as she emerged from her den in late-April with three cubs in tow.The antics of these three cubs playing together was too cute not to share. Watch as they play together and learn just how far they can push mom’s limits as she watches over them.https://idfg.idaho.gov/conservation/grizzly-bears

Idaho Fish and Game Upper Snake இடுகையிட்ட தேதி: வியாழன், 30 ஜூலை, 2020

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It’s kind of a weird twist for 2020 — actual good news.

Recently, most of our bear stories haven’t been that positive.

There was the story about the Choteau, Montana man who had his shoulder nearly ripped off.

Then there was the story of the hiker in the Shoshone National Forest who surprised a grizzly and got flattened in the process.

Then there’s the more humorous story of the trail runner who literally ran into a grizzly, bounced off the grizzly, became interlocked with the grizzly, and rolled down the trail with the grizzly.

Today, we have a story of some bears who are just cute.

As it turns out, the Idaho Fish and Game Department have something they call “Grizzly Cam.”

Every year, they say, biologists place GPS collars on grizzly bears to learn about their reproduction, survival, and distribution across the ecosystem.

A recently retrieved game camera shows a female grizzly as she emerged from her den in late-April with three cubs in tow.

“The antics of these three cubs playing together was too cute not to share,” the department said. “Watch as they play together and learn just how far they can push mom’s limits as she watches over them.”

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Grizzly Attack Victim Videos His Exposed Bones Immediately After Bear Encounter “Just In Case He Didn’t Survive”

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It’s one thing to get attacked by a grizzly bear but it’s another to get attacked by a grizzly bear and then start videoing yourself to document the visible bones following the encounter.

That’s what Shannun Rammel did following his grizzly bear experience up in Choteau, Montana.

After his story made headlines earlier this week, a Montana TV station went to the hospital to talk to him about the experience.

It was during the conversation that Rammel showed the reporter the video he made immediately after the attack.

“You can see my bones and my tendons,” he said to his wife who was acting as the cameraperson. “He ripped into me pretty good there.”

He told the reporter that it was important to document the experience in case he didn’t survive the attack.

Rammel was he was in shock after the attack but he appeared quite matter-of-fact during the video conversation with his wife only minutes after the experience.

“We have problems with grizzlies up by my house and I just got attacked by one,” he said looking into the camera.

Rammel had been alerted by a neighbor that a grizzly was in the area and when he went to check an abandoned shed, the attack was immediate.

As soon as he opened the door, the bear lunged.

“I looked to the left and all of a sudden I heard a roar and he came flying out of there right off the bat,” he said.

“I remember rolling to my belly and he jumped on my back and bit me with full force trying to rip off my shoulder,” Rammel said.

His wife told the TV station that when she saw her husband “getting thrown like a rag doll,” she came up with the idea of running over the bear in their truck.

“So when I punched the truck, he stopped and looked at me, dead straight in my eyes,” Jammie Rammel said. “He got off Shannun and turned around and got out of there,” she said.

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Man Searches For Grizzly, Man Finds Grizzly, Man Gets Attacked by Grizzly

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You could argue it was a successful day for a Choteau, Montana, man who went out searching for a grizzly bear after hearing reports it was near his farm.

After all, Shannun Rammel successfully found the bear. But the grizzly, like many grizzlies, didn’t like being surprised.

Before you condemn him, it’s not like Rammel spotted the bear, snuck up to it, put on a Halloween mask, and yelled “boo!”.

Instead, the man — who has nine children and lives in the area — got word from a farmer friend that there was a grizzly near his place.

He saw some tracks at a pond and wondered if the bear might have been attracted to something in an abandoned shed.

In a horror movie, this is where the slow motion starts and the spooky music begins to play.

Because just like in a horror movie, once Rammel opened the door, chaos erupted.

Except he didn’t run into a leather-clad deranged man with a chainsaw, he ran into the grizzly. But the result was the same.

“The bear had him and was throwing him like a rag doll,” his wife Jammie told the Great Falls Tribune. “My 12-year-old daughter was standing by me. She was watching her dad and screaming her head off – ‘There’s a bear! There’s a bear!'”

She said her first inclination was to take their truck and try to run over the grizzly – which would have been a great addition to the aforementioned horror movie.

But it didn’t get to that point as once the grizzly heard the vehicle fire up, it ran away.

Jammie drove toward the shed, mentioning that she was driving slowly because she “didn’t want to run [her] husband over.”

She took her husband to a local hospital where he underwent treatment for cuts and bites to his upper body.

“When his forearm was opened up you could actually look down and see the tendons and bone,” she told the newspaper.

As for the bear, just like Michael Myers, it disappeared.

The Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks Department said it searched the greater area with a helicopter.

The agency said the bear was not located “which isn’t surprising as bears will often flee an area after an encounter such as this.”  

Agency officials said they will continue monitoring the situation and trapping efforts.

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Surprised Hiker Captures Video of Grizzly Barreling Down on Two Mountain Goats

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Grizzly bear at Glacier National Park.

GRIZZLY BEAR VIDEO: Thanks to Regina Louisa for sending in this video of grizzly bear on the Hidden Lake Overlook Trail in Glacier National Park on Saturday night.

NBC Montana இடுகையிட்ட தேதி: திங்கள், 27 ஜூலை, 2020

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We don’t blame the hiker for the wobbly video.

After all, if we were just feet away from a grizzly barreling down the mountainside in full pursuit of two mountain goats, our video might be wobbly too.

Especially because the grizzly had two paths it could take when the mountain goats split up.

One of the paths led to where the hiker stood. Luckily for the hiker, the grizzly chose to go after Mountain Goat B.

This is just another bear story in a year where bear stories seem to be popping up everywhere.

From the news that the number of grizzly attacks at this point in the season is a record-breaker  to the numerous accounts of bears being euthanized due to human encounters, to the recent court ruling that keep grizzly bears on the Endangered Species List, bears have been everywhere in the news.

Couple these events with the ever-present smartphone and if you want bears, you’ve got ’em.

And because of the technology, we get to see things like this video which came out of Glacier National Park in Montana and was sent to NBC Montana on Monday morning.

No word if the mountain goat survived. The hiker, for some reason, chose not to run after the grizzly to get the footage.

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Hiker Surprises Grizzly Bear; Grizzly Bear Flattens Hiker

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It’s starting to feel like if there’s not a bear attack to report on every day, something’s awry.

Thankfully, Wyoming skirmishes with bears this summer have not been fatal, including an incident reported Tuesday south of Cody.

The circumstances seem to follow a pattern. 

An individual was hiking alone on Deer Creek Pass in Shoshone National Forest and surprised a grizzly bear.

Not surprisingly, the grizzly did not take kindly to the surprise and charged the hiker.

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department reported the grizzly knocked the hiker to the ground and took off.

“The victim sustained injuries to his chest and arm, but was able to bandage his wounds and hike out,” the department said.

The hiker was picked up by Game and Fish personnel and taken to the hospital.

Another bit of good news: because of the remote location and the low probability of finding the bear, no management action is planned.

That means the bear will live and hopefully hikers will not surprise it in the future.

“Game and Fish always has the safety of outdoor recreationists at the forefront of our minds,” said Dan Smith, Cody Regional Wildlife Supervisor. “We will continue to make management decisions in the best interest of public safety.”

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Jogger Bounces Off Grizzly While Running; Both Tumble Down Trail And Separate

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We haven’t seen a grizzly encounter like this so far this year.

The Glacier National Park Service reports that a jogger was running with two others on the Huckleberry Lookout Trail when she ran into a young grizzly — literally — on Saturday morning.

She not only collided into the bear, she then bounced off the bear and both of them went tumbling down the trail together.

“Once separated, the bear ran off,” the Park Service said. 

The woman received minor injuries to her head and arm but was able to walk back to the trail, meet back up with her friends, and then drove off to the hospital in Kalispell where she received some treatment.

It truly is unfortunate that there wasn’t a trail-cam that recorded the incident as it would seem difficult to accidentally run into a bear. Even young grizzlies are quite large.

Further, the site of a grizzly bear interlocked with a person tumbling down a trail would also be quite fascinating to see.

Then, once the tumbling ends, seeing the bear come-to and running away would be engaging to watch.

Of course, the speculation is fun because both the jogger and the bear ended up OK.

Regardless, the Park Service re-issued a press release Saturday reminding people that grizzly bears are dangerous — even the kind that bounce off joggers.

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Grizzly Knocks Woman Down in Yellowstone; Will Not Be Destroyed

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

A Missouri woman sustained a minor injury after encountering a bear in Yellowstone National Park on Monday.

According to a news release, the Columbia, Missouri woman, 37, encountered the female grizzly while hiking on the Fairy Falls Trail near Old Faithful.

The woman was hiking alone when she encountered two grizzlies at close range. The female bear knocked the woman down and she suffered a scratch on her thigh. The woman attempted to use her bear spray.

When the woman fell, she also received minor injuries to her face. She declined medical attention.

Following the incident, the Fairy Falls Trail was cleared of hikers. The trail and surrounding area have been temporarily closed.

“From the injured person’s statements, this appears to be a typical case of a mother grizzly bear protecting her offspring following a close-range encounter,” said Kerry Gunther, a park bear management biologist. “Because this bear was displaying natural protective behavior for its cub, no action will be taken against the bear. Several trails in the area will be closed to give the grizzly family group time to clear from the area.”  

This is the first incident of a bear injuring a visitor in Yellowstone this year. The last time a bear injured a visitor in the park was June 2019, when a black bear bit into an occupied tent and bruised a woman’s thigh.

This incident is under investigation.  

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West Yellowstone Man Attacked By Grizzly In Idaho State Park

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

An elderly West Yellowstone, Montana, man was attacked by a sow grizzly with two yearling cubs over the weekend.

According to a news release from Idaho Fish and Game, Gregory Godar, 73, and his wife had a “surprise encounter” with the bear and her cubs late Friday afternoon in Henrys Lake State Park in eastern Idaho.

The couple was hiking along the Outlet Overlook Trail when they came across the grizzlies. Godar was unable to deploy the bear spray he had strapped to his chest.

“If I had one word of advice, it would be to carry your bear spray in your hand and not strapped to your chest,” Godar said in the release. “I think if I had it in my hand I could have stopped her.”

He also explained that his wife was able to deploy her spray as they backed out of the area, but the bears were too far away by that time. 

Godar was injured, but was able to walk out of the park on his own. Around 5:30 p.m., he was transported by helicopter to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls. He was treated for his injuries and released.

Nearby hikers, anglers and residents of the Henrys Lake area were contacted about the attack.

Fish and Game conducted a sweep of the trail system on Saturday, but found no bears. The attack site was found, with a mostly consumed animal carcass nearby, which was collected and removed.

Several day beds used by bears were found in the vicinity of the attack site, though.

Due to the surprise nature of the attack, wildlife officials determined it was unnecessary to trap or pursue the bears at this time. Fish and Game recommended to park officials that the trails remain closed for about a week.

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Man Injured, Grizzly Killed Over Weekend in Dubois

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

A man suffered non-life-threatening injuries over the weekend when he was injured by a grizzly bear, according to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.

The man was injured Saturday while looking for shed antlers in the Kirk Inberg/Kevin Roy Wildlife Habitat Management area east of Dubois. He was taken to an area hospital for treatment.

Game and Fish Department personnel in the area immediately responded to the scene. Their investigation revealed the attack resulted from a surprise encounter with a female grizzly bear accompanied by yearling offspring. The mother was killed during the encounter, which is being investigated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

No bears were present when investigators returned to the attack site. No further management actions are planned at this time.

 “Our thoughts are with the individual who was injured, and we wish him a full and speedy recovery,” said Lander Regional Wildlife Supervisor Jason Hunter. “Even those who are very comfortable and savvy in the outdoors can be surprised by a bear. With this in mind, we continue to encourage anyone recreating in bear country to remain alert.”

This is the second human injured by a bear this spring in Wyoming, the first being a man attacked near Cody. A grizzly in Wapiti was euthanized earlier in May after repeatedly breaking into a chicken coop.

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Grizzly Captured, Euthanized In Wapiti

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

A grizzly was bear captured and euthanized in Wapiti earlier this week after repeatedly breaking into a chicken coop.

This was the third time the bear has been captured by the Cody regional Game and Fish office. Dusty Lasseter, community coordinator for the Game and Fish Department’s “Bear Wise” program, explained that the first two times, it had been caught in a trap meant for another bear.

Lasseter said that the bear was in poor physical condition when captured on Tuesday, with officials noting that he had lost around 85 pounds and had a large wound on his back, possibly from another bear.

“We take in a lot of different factors when we decide to euthanize a bear,” Lasseter explained. “Obviously, we’re not going to tolerate a bear breaking into a building. But if a bear climbs into an apple tree, that’s a different story.”

After the bear was euthanized, its body was donated to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. Lasseter noted that its beautiful winter coat and large size were among the reasons the bear was a great specimen for the museum.

Adult male bears have already come out of hibernation, but female bears and cubs are leaving hibernation around early May. Lasseter recommended for anyone living in bear country in Wyoming to secure their “attractants.”

“You have to be really diligent about deterring bears from your house,” he said. “If you’re out hiking, you need to be prepared with bear spray and possibly a firearm. Don’t go alone. We’re predators, too, so a large group of people will be intimidating for a bear.”

Another grizzly in the area was far luckier last week despite attacking a man.

This bear surprised a antler hunter and while mauling the individual accidentally bit-down on his holstered can of bear spray.

The attack stopped, the man was able to get back to his ATV where he was airlifted to a Billings hospital, and the Game and Fish department announced there would likely not be any repercussions for the animal.

“Due to the circumstances involved a surprise encounter and the inability to identify the individual bear, Game and Fish does not plan to take management action at this time, and no area closures have been implemented,” the department said.

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Grizzly Stops Attacking Cody Man After Accidentally Biting Can of Bear Spray

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Here’s a silver lining for you.

If you have to get mauled by a grizzly bear, try to maneuver your bear spray into his mouth so he bites down on it.

That’s what happened to Spencer Smith, the Cody man who was mauled last Friday in the Sunlight Basin area in northwestern Wyoming.

The Game and Fish Department on Tuesday announced they finished their investigation and concluded Smith’s survival might be due to a fortuitous chomp on the bear spray.

“During the encounter, the bear bit Smith’s bear spray holstered on his hip, rupturing the canister and presumably causing the bear to break off the attack,” the report reads.

Smith survived the attack and was airlifted to a Billings hospital on Friday where he was in stable condition with “severe” neck injuries.

Despite those injuries Smith was able to walk more than a mile from the attack area to his ATV, where he received assistance from Game and Fish Department personnel.

There’s good news for the bear as well. The adult male grizzly is unlikely to be put down.

“Due to the circumstances involved a surprise encounter and the inability to identify the individual bear, Game and Fish does not plan to take management action at this time, and no area closures have been implemented,” the statement reads.

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Cody Man Mauled By Grizzly Bear Sustains Severe Neck Injury

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A Cody man suffered a “severe” neck injury Friday morning after getting attacked by a grizzly bear in the East Painter Creek area of Park County.

The Park County Sheriff’s Office received an SOS signal activation at 10:47 a.m. alerting them to the bear attack.

The office reported that Spencer Smith of Cody was antler hunting in the area when encountering the bear.

Smith was attempting to walk to his four-wheeler when attacked.

A number of groups including the Park County Search and Rescue, Park County Sheriff’s Office, Cody Regional Wilderness and Response Team, Wyoming Game and Fish Department and Guardian Flight all took part in the search for Smith.

At 11:31 a.m., the four-wheeler was spotted. Shortly thereafter, Smith was found and loaded into the Guardian helicopter for transport to St. Vincent’s Hospital in Billings, Montana.

Smith is described as alert and in stable condition, according to the sheriff’s office.

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