G&F Closing Bear Investigation | Big Horn Basin Media

G&F Unable to Locate Bear Responsible for Backpacker Attack

Written by on September 17, 2018

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has completed its investigation into last week’s bear attack on a backpacker in the Beartooth Mountains.
The Minnesota man was hiking ahead of friends near Granite Lake on September 9th when he was attacked in a sudden surprise encounter. Search and Rescue evacuated the man by helicopter, and he was treated for his injuries at a local hospital.
Game and Fish personnel investigated the incident through interviews with the victim and members of his party, as well as visiting the site of the attack several times. What they found was evidence that multiple grizzly bears had been in the area eating pine nuts, and investigators were unable to identify the individual bear or bears that were involved in the attack.
Dan Smith, Cody Regional Wildlife Supervisor, says that this appears to be an unfortunate case of a surprise encounter that occurred at close range, and that the bear was most likely behaving in a defensive manner to protect a food source. Smith says that their agency does not plan to take any management action, other than to work with the Forest Service to temporarily close a two-mile area around Granite Lake.

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