Posted: Sep 14, 2012 5:43 PM by Tara Oster - KAJ News
Updated: Sep 14, 2012 7:37 PM
KALISPELL- Just six hours after a man was mauled in the Bob Marshall Wilderness, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks have confirmed they were able to kill a bear they believe is responsible for a mauling .
A man was attacked around 7:30 a.m. on Friday in the Black Bear Drainage south of the Spotted Bear Ranger District. He was flown to Kalispell Regional Medical Center and hospital staff confirmed he is in stable condition and his injuries were not life threatening.
FWP sent a Wildlife Human Attack Response Team by helicopter to the area before noon Friday, where they quickly located and killed the bear. The team was aided by a photo the victim took of the bear just before the attack.
The bear was found just 30 yards from where the attack took place and had pepper spray on its face and had blood on its claws.
"It's pretty extraordinary given the remote area that within about six hours we were able to actually dispatch the bear. And a lot of that's got to do with the Forest Service doing a fantastic job securing the site and keeping people out of the side so the bear remained," said FWP Regional Supervisor Jim Satterfield.
He added the mauling incident remains under investigation, and though they are confident they killed the offending bear, FWP will follow up on the animal, checking stomach contents and its DNA.
Although black bears may be overlooked as a threat, wildlife experts caution they are still very dangerous and we can expect higher bear activity as winter approaches.
"This is the time of year where they're really putting the food bag on. They're really eating calories and storing calories for the winter to they're very active right now and then plus there's a lot of people in the woods right now. We have a lot of hunters in the woods so there's a lot of opportunity for interaction between hunters and hikers and bears," Satterfield explained.
He also added folks need to remember to have bear spray on hand before heading out into the woods.