The final official word on the fatal bear attack near West Glacier on June 29 . . .
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) personnel have received additional information on the bear attack on a mountain biker on June 29 on Forest Service property a few miles south of West Glacier. Brad Treat, a law enforcement officer with the U.S. Forest Service, was fatally mauled when he encountered a bear while riding his mountain bike on the Green Gate/Half Moon trail system off of U.S. Highway 2. Treat was found dead by officers at the scene of the attack.
Based on the Wildlife Human Attack Response Team investigation, Treat collided with the bear in a surprise encounter on a section of trail that contains limited sight distances, which lead to a very short reaction time before the collision. The team collected evidence samples that were submitted in an effort to determine animal species, sex, DNA profile and whether this is a known or unknown bear.
The DNA results show that the bear involved in the collision and subsequent attack was a known male grizzly bear, approximately 20 years of age. This bear has no management history and as far as we know the bear has not had any previous conflicts with humans. The bear was captured and released in 2006 in Glacier National Park as part of an ongoing research project and at that time was aged at approximately 8 – 10 years. Due to the parameters of the research project the bear was not fitted with a radio collar. The bear was again identified through DNA from hair samples collected from rub trees in 2009 and 2011.
At this time, FWP has concluded its investigation into this incident.
This was not a good day for human-bear interactions, although it was something of a testament to the use of bear spray . . .
Four people injured in two separate bear attacks in and near Yellowstone National Park on the same day were able to escape with relatively minor injuries. None remained hospitalized Friday.
In Yellowstone, officials decided not to pursue a grizzly that attacked two hikers on a trail near Canyon Village on Thursday in the north-central portion of the park. The sow grizzly attacked after the hikers came across its young cub born the previous winter, according to park spokesman Al Nash…
Later that day, two Bureau of Land Management contract workers were attacked about 70 miles west of the Yellowstone attack…
Continue reading . . .
Slate posted a very lengthy, detailed piece by Jesicca Grose on Monday centered around the investigation of a pair of fatal grizzly bear attacks in Yellowstone National Park last year. Boing Boing, a very popular web log, just picked up on this, so there’s likely to be quite a bit of discussion of this article over the next few days . . .
A grizzly was ambling along the Yellowstone River on a clear day in late September 2011, when she lifted her nose up and smelled something familiar in the air. She couldn’t tell quite what it was, but it smelled like food. Maybe the shredded remains of a bison taken down by a wolf pack, its innards sloughing out of its stomach and onto the riverbank. The sow may have spent the day digging up pocket gophers, but a feast like this would really help her to pack on weight. Within eight weeks she’d be taking her two young cubs into a den in the side of a slope for the long Western winter. They needed fat, and soon.
After months of a diet consisting mostly of grass and nuts and roots, the scent of dead meat was impossible to resist. The mother grizzly walked in the direction of the carrion with her cubs scrambling along behind her. The bigger one, with the blond face, was probably closer on his mother’s heels, with his brother, the color of burnt sienna, lagging behind. The sow had to keep a close eye on her offspring. There was always the threat of male bears trying to kill her family. They knew she wouldn’t go into heat again as long as her cubs were with her.