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Two injured in separate Montana bear attacks

September 24, 2012 at 10:33 AM

The Associated Press

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — A man was injured Friday during a run-in with a black bear that was later killed in the remote Bob Marshall Wilderness in northwest Montana, wildlife officials said.

The unidentified man was hurt early in the day in an area known as Black Bear Creek. It was unclear what provoked the attack, but officials said the man sprayed the animal with bear spray during the encounter.

The victim was taken to Kalispell Regional Hospital, where he was listed in stable condition. A hospital administrator told The Associated Press the man’s injuries were not life-threatening.

The victim was going into surgery late Friday and was expected to recover from injuries that included scratches, administrators said.

The bear was killed about five hours after the attack by a team of wardens and bear specialists from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks who were flown in by helicopter to track down the animal, said Jim Satterfield, the agency’s regional supervisor.

“We killed a bear within 100 yards of the camp. It had pepper spray on it and blood on its claws and it had the right colors,” he said. “We’re more than 99 percent sure we got the right bear.”

Satterfield said that before the bear was killed, U.S. Forest Service officials had secured the scene of the attack and nearby trails to make sure no one else was endangered.

Black Bear Creek is deep inside the wilderness area about 25 miles southeast of Hungry Horse Reservoir. It was unknown if the victim was hiking or camping in the roadless area

Black bears generally are not considered as dangerous as grizzly bears, which get much larger and can be more aggressive.

But black bears also can kill or seriously injure people, and Forest Service officials issued a public reminder that bears of both species are more active now as they seek food to fatten up before winter.

Grizzly bear attacks archery hunter

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — State wildlife officials say a grizzly bear bit a Pennsylvania man on the hands and arms as he was archery hunting with his wife in the Madison Range southeast of Ennis.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokeswoman Andrea Jones said Wednesday the unidentified man was treated at a hospital and released after last week’s encounter.

He was using an elk call when the grizzly emerged from nearby brush, jumped on the man, bit him and ran off.

Jones says the grizzly was not killed because it was acting defensively.

Separately, officials say they captured a 5-year-old female grizzly and her cub southeast of Red Lodge after the animals killed six cows and calves this summer.

The adult bear was killed and the cub held for placement in a zoo.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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