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Hiker Injured by Grizzly Bear at Glacier National Park


 This pair of grizzlies was photographed in Yellowstone. Photo by donjd2 via Creative Commons and flickr.

A hiker was injured by a grizzly bear in the Many Glacier area at Glacier National Park on Friday, but was able to walk out under his own power to seek help.

According to information from the park, the 50-year male hiker from St. Paul, Minnesota, was hiking alone on the trail from Many Glacier to Piegan Pass when he encountered a sow grizzly with one sub-adult at about 12 noon on Friday.

The hiker was reported to be carrying bear spray, but was unable to deploy it before the bear attacked. The man sustained bites to his left thigh and left forearm before the bear grabbed his foot, shook him, released him and left the area.  

The man hiked back toward Many Glacier, encountering a naturalist ranger leading a hike. The ranger notified dispatch while the victim continued to the Many Glacier Ranger Station where he was treated for his injuries. He was then transported to the Blackfeet Community Hospital in Browning by the Babb Ambulance.  

Initial reports indicated the hiker was making noise as he hiked.  

The trail from Piegan Pass to Feather Plum Falls is closed at this time, and rangers are investigating the incident.  

A park spokesperson reminded "All visitors to Glacier National Park that the park is home to black and grizzly bears.  Hikers are advised to carry bear spray, and know how to use it.  Hikers are also encouraged to hike in groups and make noise when hiking."  


I wonder if the bears are running into people more this year out west due to the immense snow falls and late snow cover so that they are struggling looking for food sources?
Glad the guy will be okay.

It would seem at least partly so to me also, Brad.  Last year the season's berry crop in much of the West was bad and I noted a lot of particularly Black Bear/people problems.  Or, it could be the economy :).

What is it with people "carrying bear spray" but "not being able to deploy it before the bear attacked?" My guess is that he had it stuffed in the bottom of his pack. There is a lesson here. If you carry bear spray in your pack, instead of in a holster on your belt, you may as well not have it in the first place. Bear attacks can happen suddenly and with little or no warning. Chances are very good that you won't have time to dig it out of a backpack if a bear attacks you. Wake up, people. You need to be alert, prepared and vigilant in grizzly bear country.

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