Park Rangers Hunt Grizzly That Mauled Hikers
GLACIER NATIONAL PARK, Mont. (AP) _ Fifteen park rangers armed with high-powered rifles were deployed Friday in Glacier National Park where two hikers had been mauled by a grizzly bear the day before.
″We are patrolling the area and if we stumble upon an aggressive bear we will destroy it,″ said Gary Gregory, resources management specialist at the park.
Jeff Brown, 25, of Lake Placid, N.Y., and Patricia Duff, 23, of Kingston, N.Y., underwent surgery for multiple cuts and puncture wounds after the bear attacked them Thursday. Both were in stable condition Friday, said Marty Boehm, an emergency room supervisor at Kalispell Regional Hospital.
″I don’t think there was a thing they could have done,″ Boehm said. ″They were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.″
Glacier spokeswoman Michelle Rotter said the two hikers were walking on the Loop Trail near Granite Park Chalet about 3 p.m. Thursday when they were attacked by a bear they described as an adult grizzly.
″The bear went to Patricia first, as she tried to climb up a tree, and started biting her. Then Jeffrey yelled at the top of his lungs, and the bear came over to him and he punched the bear in the face, then rolled up into a ball,″ Ms. Rotter said.
″Patricia then rolled up into a ball and the bear went back and forth several times, chewing and biting them. Then the bear dragged Jeffrey about 20 feet, battering him around, and then left the area,″ Ms. Rotter said.
After the attack, Brown hiked about three-quarters of a mile to a trail cabin, and Ms. Duff hiked about one-quarter mile to the chalet, she said.
The chalet is closed for the season, but Ms. Rotter said a carpenter working there and a park ranger administered first aid and radioed for help. A helicopter then flew the victims to the Kalispell hospital, she said.
″Both people were pretty well chewed up,″ said Boehm. They may require additional surgery, he said, because ″the wounds are pretty dirty, so you can’t close them all right away.″
Gregory said the last grizzly attack in Glacier occurred July 7 on Mount Siyeh, about 12 miles from the scene of Thursday’s incident. It was unlikely the same bear was involved.
There have been six known deaths of Glacier National Park visitors due to grizzly bear attacks, Gregory said. He said those killed were campers who were attacked at night, and that no day hiker has ever been killed by a bear.