Officials are searching for a grizzly bear that attacked and killed a camper in a remote Montana forest on Tuesday morning. The animal is said to have previously wandered through the site before the attack.
The camper, who’s identity has not yet been released, was attacked between 4 am and 5 am at a campground near Ovando on the edge of the Bob Marshall Wilderness along the Blackfoot River. Other campers used bear spray causing it to flee the scene.
Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks officers have deployed a Wildlife Human Attack Response Team comprised of game wardens, biologists and wildlife conflict specialists to help track and capture the bear. The bear will be euthanized when caught.
“This isn’t normal bear behavior, and it’s the kind we want to address right away. Most of the time when we have grizzly-human encounters that result in injury, most of the time the bear is doing normal bear stuff — protecting food resources, protecting cubs or a surprise encounter. This doesn’t really apply in this situation, where somebody was camping at night. We have a bear roaming around town, that had already hit a chicken coop, so our response is different than if it was normal bear behavior.”
– Greg Lemon, spokesperson with Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks
The fatality is the second in the USA this year. In April a woman out walking her dogs near Durango, CO, was killed and partial eaten by a bear.
The grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis), also known as the North American brown bear or simply grizzly, is a population or subspecies of the brown bear inhabiting North America.
In addition to the mainland grizzly (Ursus arctos horribilis), other morphological forms of brown bear in North America are sometimes identified as grizzly bears. These include two living populations — the Kodiak bear (U. a. middendorffi) and the peninsular grizzly (U. a. gyas) — as well as the extinct California grizzly (U. a. californicus†), Mexican grizzly (formerly U. a. nelsoni†), and Ungava-Labrador grizzly (formerly U. a. ungavaesis†). On average, grizzlies near the coast tend to be larger while inland grizzlies tend to be smaller.
The Ussuri brown bear (U. a. lasiotus), inhabiting Russia, Northern China, Japan, and Korea, is sometimes referred to as the “black grizzly”, although it is no more closely related to North American brown bears than other subspecies of brown bear around the world.