BOZEMAN- A biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services (USFWS) is expected to fully recover after being attacked by a grizzly bear in the Centennial Valley Wednesday morning.
According to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, the biologist was working on a sage grouse monitoring project on Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge about a mile west of Elk Lake when they heard a noise in the sagebrush and turned to see two grizzly bears about 80 to 100 yards away.
One bear stood up and the other charged the biologist who deployed bear spray at the charging bear and throughout the attack until both the bears ran away.
The Biologist then began leaving the site and reported the incident to other USFWS staff who came and helped them get medical attention. The biologist was transported to Rexburg, Idaho for medical treatment and was released later that day.
A report from the biologist indicated the bears may have been young siblings around three years old.
Idaho Fish and Game assisted Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks in the early stages of the ongoing investigation.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks says seven people have been injured this year by bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
Recreationalists and people who work outdoors are being warned by FWP to always be prepared to handle a bear encounter.
Precautions people should keep in mind when outside from FWP:
Be aware of your surroundings and look for bear sign.
Read signs at trailheads and stay on trails. Be especially careful around creeks and in areas with dense brush.
Carry bear spray. Know how to use it and be prepared to deploy it at a second’s notice.
Travel in groups whenever possible and make casual noise, which can help alert bears to your presence.
Stay away from animal carcasses, which often attract bears.
Follow U.S. Forest Service (USFS) food storage orders, which have been in effect for public lands in Montana since March 1.
If you encounter a bear, never approach it. Back away slowly and leave the area.