GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) — Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials euthanized a female grizzly bear following an attack on a hiker.
The department did not release the hiker's identity or the extent of injuries he suffered west of Dupuyer around 9 p.m. Wednesday, The Great Falls Tribune reports.
The hiker encountered a female bear and a cub at close range and the mother attacked and bit the hiker’s thigh. The bear’s behavior indicated the animal attacked to protect her cub from a perceived threat, wildlife officials said.
The hiker was carrying a pistol and shot the bear and the injured animal moved off.
The hiker walked to his house in Dupuyer and then met emergency services while en route to a hospital, the department said.
The bear escaped into brush along a creek and wardens and bear specialists searched for the animal for part of Wednesday night. The hunt resumed Thursday morning with a state helicopter and ground crews, Pondera County Sheriff Robert Skourupa said
The injured bear was located and killed by wildlife personnel, the department said.
The bear’s cub was not there when the mother was euthanized and has not been captured, Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesperson Greg Lemon said.