Man attacked by bear at Priest Lake

KREM 2's Ryan Simms reports from Priest Lake, Idaho after a second bear attack this summer, this time with an animal swiping at a jogger. (8-1-17)

PRIEST LAKE, Idaho – Idaho Fish and Game officials confirmed a man was attacked by a bear near Elkins Resort Monday afternoon.  

Phil Cooper with the Idaho Fish and Game said a man was jogging on the Kalispell Reeder Trail near the resort when he saw a black bear in the timer, but kept going. The jogger told Cooper he noticed the bear began to follow him, so he turned around to face the bear, put his hands up and shouted. He said the bear charged at him so he fell to the ground then the bear took a swipe at him.

Cooper said the jogger suffered lacerations to his lower leg but was not taken to the hospital. Cooper said Fish and Game brought out dogs in an attempt to locate the bear but were unsuccessful.

Wildlife officials do not know if it is the same bear responsible for the attack near the Priest Lake Visitor Center on July 4. They did say, however, that bear encounters are “unusual.”

Officials also noted there are roughly three to four bears per square mile in the Priest Lake area. So they said if you are hiking in the area, carry bear spray either in your hand or on your belt where you can get to it quickly. They also said it is a good idea to make noise while you hike so you do not startle a bear. 

Idaho Fish and Game said this year might be especially bad for bear attacks because of a bumper huckleberry crop that attracts bears to food, meaning more of them are around.

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© 2017 KREM-TV


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