Update on the Bear Attack near West Glacier: Evidence shows that the bear was a male grizzly
By Moosetrack Megan
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) personnel have received additional information on the bear attack on a mountain biker on June 29 on Forest Service property a few miles south of West Glacier. Brad Treat, a law enforcement officer with the U.S. Forest Service, was fatally mauled when he encountered a bear while riding his mountain bike on the Green Gate/Half Moon trail system off of U.S. Highway 2. Treat was found dead by officers at the scene of the attack.
Based on the Wildlife Human Attack Response Team investigation, Treat collided with the bear in a surprise encounter on a section of trail that contains limited sight distances, which lead to a very short reaction time before the collision. The team collected evidence samples that were submitted in an effort to determine animal species, sex, DNA profile and whether this is a known or unknown bear.
The DNA results show that the bear involved in the collision and subsequent attack was a known male grizzly bear, approximately 20 years of age. This bear has no management history and as far as we know the bear has not had any previous conflicts with humans. The bear was captured and released in 2006 in Glacier National Park as part of an ongoing research project and at that time was aged at approximately 8 – 10 years. Due to the parameters of the research project the bear was not fitted with a radio collar. The bear was again identified through DNA from hair samples collected from rub trees in 2009 and 2011.
At this time, FWP has concluded its investigation into this incident.