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Biologist Survives Grizzly Bear Attack In Southwest Montana

A grizzly bear walks through tall grass.
Ania Tuzel Photography/FLICKR (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
A grizzly bear walks through tall grass.


Biologist Survives Grizzly Bear Attack In Southwest Montana

A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist doing field work in southwest Montana survived a grizzly bear attack Wednesday. 

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the biologist was working on a sage grouse monitoring project in Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge when the person noticed two grizzly bears nearby and one of them charged.

The federal agency says the biologist used bear spray until the attacking bear backed off and ran away with the other bear.

Wildlife service spokesperson Joe Szuszwalas says the biologist sustained non-life-threatening bites from the attack.

“The biologist kinda got up and was able to make contact with other U.S. Fish and Wildlife staff, and they were come and help get them medical attention," Szuszwalak said.

He says the biologist was transported to a hospital in nearby Rexburg, Idaho, and was released later that afternoon.

According to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service press release, the biologist’s report suggests the grizzly bears may have been siblings around three years old.

Szuszwalak declined to share the identity of the biologist and said an investigation is ongoing. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says seven people have been injured by bears so far this year in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

Copyright 2020 Yellowstone Public Radio

Kayla Desroches reports for Yellowstone Public Radio in Billings. She was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, and stayed in the city for college, where she hosted a radio show that featured serialized dramas like the Shadow and Suspense. In her pathway to full employment, she interned at WNYC in New York City and KTOO in Juneau, Alaska. She then spent a few years on the island of Kodiak, Alaska, where she transitioned from reporter to news director before moving to Montana.
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