Berries cropped

Visitors reminded to follow Bear-Safety protocols
By Moosetrack Megan


 

WEST GLACIER, MONT –A park employee, while off duty picking huckleberries in the Swiftcurrent valley, surprised what is believed to be a grizzly bear. She sustained non-life threatening injuries to the leg and the hands. The surprise encounter which led to a non-predatory attack occurred on Saturday, August 27 in the early evening hours, a quarter mile off the Swiftcurrent Pass trail near Red Rock Falls, and reported to dispatch at 7:15 p.m. The park employee walked most of the Swiftcurrent Pass Trail back before she was met by park rangers. She was then transported by Glacier county EMS to Browning for further treatment and evaluation. She was carrying bear spray but it was not deployed. Hikers reported a grizzly bear sow and two cubs leaving the area shortly after the incident.

The last visitor injury by a grizzly bear was on September 29, 2015 when a 65-year old male hiker surprised a sow grizzly with two sub-adult cubs, receiving puncture wounds to his lower leg and injuries to his hand.

Visitors to Glacier National Park are reminded that the park is home to black and grizzly bears.Bears spend a lot of time eating, so be extra vigilant when crossing through obvious feeding areas like berry patches, cow parsnip thickets, or fields of glacier lilies. Hikers are highly encouraged to hike in groups, make noise when hiking, and have bear spray accessible and know how to use it.For information on trail closures in the park, please visit

https://home.nps.gov/applications/glac/infobull/closures.cfm.

At this time of year, bears are entering a phase called hyperphagia: a period of concentrated feeding to prepare for hibernation. It is especially important that visitors keep campgrounds and developed areas clean and free of food and trash. Regulations require that all edibles, food containers, and cookware be stored in a hard-sided vehicle or food locker when not in use, day or night. Place all trash in bear-proof containers. Do not burn waste in fire rings or leave litter around your camp. Fire rings should be free of trash before vacating a campsite.

For more information about recreating in bear country, please visit http://www.nps.gov/glac/naturescience/bears.htm.