PRIEST LAKE, Idaho — Idaho Department of Fish and Game said they are no longer tracking the bear that attacked a 60-year-old woman and her dogs near the Priest Lake Visitor center Tuesday.
Phil Cooper with Idaho Department of Fish and Game said they tracked the bear into the woods. They were unable to follow the bear after it crossed a river and made its way into the forest.
Officials said they did collect DNA samples to keep in case there is another encounter of some sort so they can compare samples.
This attack prompted the department to close all hiking trails nearby as a safety precaution.
It will be up to the forest service to decide whether or not to reopen the trails since the bear was not not located.
The woman told officials that she was walking her two dogs in the area when she saw a bear headed her way. She said the bear attacked her, leaving her with multiple bite and claw marks. After the incident, officials said the woman called a relative nearby for help who then called the Bonner County Sheriff's Office to report the incident.
The woman was located and flown to Sacred Heart Medical Center for multiple injuries.
According to he Idaho Department of Fish and Game, the 60-year-old woman was walking her dogs when they came across what appeared to be a large black bear. The bear charged at the woman, knocked her down and began to bite and claw at her on her head and on her body.
Her dogs were also injured, but are expected to recover.
The woman was alert after the attack and was able to use her cell phone to call family staying at a nearby cabin. That family then called authorities and came down to help themselves. When they arrived, the bear was still there and the family members yelled and swung a dog leash at the bear to get it to leave.
A local fire chief said that the injured woman was able to make it out of the woods on her own.
A local volunteer ambulance driver who was on scene said, based on what happened, the woman is very fortunate that the attack wasn’t worse.
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