Grizzly kills camper in Montana

  • A grizzly bear killed a camper in Montana early Tuesday morning, according to a state wildlife agency spokesperson.
  • Lemon withheld the victim’s identity while the investigation is ongoing.
  • “Our first concern is the community’s well-being. The next step is to find the bear,” Lemon added.

A grizzly bear killed a camper in Montana early Tuesday morning, according to a state wildlife agency spokesperson.

Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks spokesperson Greg Lemon said the incident occurred between 4 and 5 a.m. near Ovando, adding that a team will attempt to track down the bear, The Associated Press (AP) reported. Lemon withheld the victim’s identity while the investigation is ongoing.

“Our first concern is the community’s well-being. The next step is to find the bear,” Lemon said.

Ovando sits in a wilderness region along a Canadian border, which is home to approximately 1,000 grizzlies, according to the AP.

“There was an earlier contact with the bear prior to the event,” Sheriff Gavin Roselles said, per the AP. “The bear basically came back into the campsite. It wandered into a campsite a couple different times.”

Roselles added that earlier reports suggesting the unnamed person was attacked while cycling are inaccurate.

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Attacks by grizzlies, which have been a protected species in the U.S. since 1975, have increased recently. In April, a backcountry guide was fatally mauled while fishing. Additionally, a 39-year-old man was attacked near Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park near the end of May, where he suffered significant injuries.

Between 1979 and 2019 Yellowstone recorded 44 injuries sustained in grizzly attacks, according to The National Park Service (NPS). The service maintains that the chance of being injured in an attack is 1 in 2.7 million.

“The risk is significantly lower for people who don’t leave developed areas or roadsides, and higher for anyone hiking in the backcountry,” NPS website states.

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