Grizzly bear attacks mountain biker near Spanish Peaks
By angelamontana

Posted: May 26, 2020

Bozeman — A man in his 60s was attacked by a grizzly bear Monday while mountain biking in the Spanish Peaks area near Big Sky in Gallatin County.

The man, who was alone at the time of the attack, was able to walk out and get help from passing motorists. He was later flown to Billings for medical treatment and was in critical but stable condition Monday evening.

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks was notified of the attack shortly after 1 p.m. Monday. FWP wardens and bear specialists responded, with help from the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, and confirmed that it was a grizzly bear that attacked the man. Initial details indicate the attack was spurred by a surprise close encounter between the man and the bear and was not predatory.

This incident is still under investigation.

The trail where the attack occurred is on private land, and FWP has worked with the landowner to close the trail at this time.

FWP reminds everyone to be prepared to handle a bear encounter when recreating outside in western Montana. The nature of certain activities that are deliberately quiet or fast moving, such as hunting, mountain biking and trail running, puts recreationists at an increased risk for surprising a bear. Take precautions to make your presence known when you’re in bear country.

Some recommended tips for avoiding negative encounters with bears include:

  • Be aware of your surroundings and look for bear sign.
  • Carry and know how to use bear spray.
  • Travel in groups and make noise whenever possible to better avoid surprising a bear.
  • Stay away from animal carcasses.
  • Follow U.S. Forest Service food storage regulations.
  • If you encounter a bear, never approach it. Back away slowly and leave the area.

For more information on bear safety, visit fwp.mt.gov/fishAndWildlife/livingWithWildlife/beBearAware.

Media contact: Morgan Jacobsen, 406-994-6931, morgan.jacobsen@mt.gov

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