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8 People Injured in Black Bear and Grizzly Attacks in Two Weeks

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August 19, 2013
8 People Injured in Black Bear and Grizzly Attacks in Two Weeks - 3

August is turning out to be Bear Attack Month as summer’s finale has witnessed at least 8 people mauled in 6 states in the past few weeks.

A week ago a black bear entered a home in Albuquerque, New Mexico foraging for food biting the owner on the hand in the process.

On Thursday, four people were left with non-life threatening injuries following two separate grizzly bear attacks in Yellowstone National Park.

Gregg Losinski of Idaho Fish and Game told ABC News that the first attack occurred in Idaho when two private contractors doing habitat assessment accidentally walked up on a bear sleeping behind a tree. The bear charged the first man and bit him in the backside and thigh. The second man tried to spray the bear as it charged him but failed and was bitten on the hands.  Despite these injuries, the men were able to reach other workers who helped transport them to Madison Memorial Hospital in Rexburg, Idaho.

The second attack on Bears Gone Wild Thursday occurred when four hikers in the park encountered a grizzly cub on the trail. The mother sow appeared shortly after and attacked two of the group leaving them with claw and bite wounds. The group managed to drive off both bears with canisters of bear spray.  

Yellowstone spokesman Dan Hottle told ABC News Radio, “They [The hikers] were following all the directions that we encourage people to do when they’re in the back country, which is hike in groups, carry pepper spray and make noise on the trail. Unfortunately, a mother with cubs in the park is the most dangerous animal we have.”

The hikers walked to the trailhead following the attack. There one man was treated while the other taken to the hospital.

Michigan also saw an attack Thursday evening when a black bear knocked Abby Wetherell to the ground and mauled her. The 12 year old’s mother Elizabeth Wetherell, told CNN affiliate WXMI of the incident:  "A bear just kind of came out of nowhere and attacked her from behind, knocked her to the ground … At that point, she didn't know what to do because she had been injured severely and couldn't get up, so she decided ... to just lay there and play dead."

Abby was later able to get up and run to a neighbor’s house for help. The attack left Abby with cuts to her thigh.

Also on Thursday night, an unidentified woman camping in Colorado suffered puncture wounds when a bear clawed into her tent and bit her on the arm. Fortunately the bear ran away when she screamed. The woman’s injuries were not serious.

And rounding out our Bear Month – thus far: The Alaska National Guard recused a man who survived in the backcountry for 36 hours following a injuries suffered from a brown bear while hunting 35 miles north of Anaktuvuk Pass. Rescue teams tried to reach the man several times  but were unable to land due to heavy fog. The unidentified hunter suffered significant blood loss in the attack but was stabilized on the scene by a medical professional he was hunting with.

Air Force Master Sgt. Armando Soria told reporters: "The pararescuemen credit him for saving the man's life. He provided expert care with limited resources for several hours, ultimately stabilizing, warming and rehydrating the victim.”

Comments (3)

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from LovesOutdoors wrote 48 weeks 3 days ago

Some people don't realize that bears have a great sense of smell and can smell food from miles away. A camp or a home should be kept clean of all food items or food scraps. Trash and garbage should be secure with bear proof trash cans. Others think it is alright to feed bears which does more harm then good. Bears will lose their fear for humans and will relate free food hand outs with all humans.

Back in the seventies, my cousin Mark and I did a lot of backpacking in grizzly country in Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks. We always wore noisy bear bells on our backpacks when walking on the trails. Wherever we turned a bend in the trail we blew loud on a whistle. We didn’t want to surprise a sow grizzly with cubs or a grizzly eating on a dead carcass. When we camped out in the back country all of our food items and the smelly garbage were tied up high in a tree. We saw some grizzlies in those two months but they were all from a distance.

When we were out in Yellowstone Park at the Fishing Bridge campground a man left his house trailer at night to scare off a sow grizzly with cubs because they were messing with his fifty dollar food cooler. He was taken by helicopter to a Salt Lake City hospital because half his face was ripped off.

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from huntfishtrap wrote 48 weeks 3 days ago

I wonder how many of these bears (apart from the sow and cub in Yellowstone) had become conditioned to think of humans as a source of food by idiots feeding them.

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from idduckhntr wrote 48 weeks 4 days ago

The attack in Idaho is fifteen miles from my house. We have quite a few gizz up here.

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from idduckhntr wrote 48 weeks 4 days ago

The attack in Idaho is fifteen miles from my house. We have quite a few gizz up here.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from huntfishtrap wrote 48 weeks 3 days ago

I wonder how many of these bears (apart from the sow and cub in Yellowstone) had become conditioned to think of humans as a source of food by idiots feeding them.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from LovesOutdoors wrote 48 weeks 3 days ago

Some people don't realize that bears have a great sense of smell and can smell food from miles away. A camp or a home should be kept clean of all food items or food scraps. Trash and garbage should be secure with bear proof trash cans. Others think it is alright to feed bears which does more harm then good. Bears will lose their fear for humans and will relate free food hand outs with all humans.

Back in the seventies, my cousin Mark and I did a lot of backpacking in grizzly country in Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks. We always wore noisy bear bells on our backpacks when walking on the trails. Wherever we turned a bend in the trail we blew loud on a whistle. We didn’t want to surprise a sow grizzly with cubs or a grizzly eating on a dead carcass. When we camped out in the back country all of our food items and the smelly garbage were tied up high in a tree. We saw some grizzlies in those two months but they were all from a distance.

When we were out in Yellowstone Park at the Fishing Bridge campground a man left his house trailer at night to scare off a sow grizzly with cubs because they were messing with his fifty dollar food cooler. He was taken by helicopter to a Salt Lake City hospital because half his face was ripped off.

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