Utah teen attacked by bear in Montana

Grizzly bear. File photo: National Park Service

ENNIS, Montana, April 9, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — A 17-year-old boy from Utah was attacked by a bear south of Ennis in Montana on Sunday.

“He fortunately survived the attack with relatively minor injuries,” said a news release from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

The teen and his family were visiting their cabin in Wolf Creek, about 30 miles south of Ennis, on the east side of the Madison Valley, the news release said. He was out looking for shed antlers in the area at approximately 2 p.m.

“According to the teen, he was walking down a hill when he heard a ‘thump’ behind him,” the news release said. “He turned around to see a bear charging at him.

“The teen was carrying bear spray, but he was unable to deploy it immediately because of the bear’s rapid approach. The bear pushed him up against a tree and held him there momentarily.”

When the bear let go, the teen fell over and attempted to crawl between two trees and protect his head and vitals, the news release said. The bear then pinned him face-down on the ground. The teen, who was wearing a hoodie and a backpack, said he was able to reach over his shoulder and spray the bear with bear spray, and the bear left.

The young man began walking out and made radio contact with his family. He was treated for his injuries at Madison Valley Medical Center and later released.

Montana FWP was notified of the attack at 3:45 p.m.

“Based on the teen’s description of the bear’s behavior, the bear was mostly likely a grizzly bear,” the news release said. “FWP has notified people who live in the area of the attack. The area has very limited public access and does not get many visitors.”

The bear’s behavior in this incident appears to be typical of surprise close encounters, the news release said. Montana FWP will continue to monitor the area, which is well within occupied bear habitat.

The investigation is ongoing, but no further management action is being taken at this time.


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