Hiker injured in surprise encounter with two bears on the Shoshone NF

WYOMING – A backpacker was injured after a surprise encounter with two bears resulted in his being flown to an area hospital where he is receiving medical treatment.

Park County Sheriff’s Office notified Wyoming Game and Fish Department Sunday that a man had been injured by a bear while backpacking in the Beartooth Mountains near the Wyoming-Montana border. The injured male was flown by helicopter to an area hospital where he is receiving treatment.

Upon notification, Game and Fish immediately responded to the area to provide assistance to the victim and other party members. WGFD began an investigation on the attack that included interviews with the victim and members of his party.

The investigation is ongoing—WGFD personnel are still on-scene gathering further details today—but based on the initial investigation, it appears to be a surprise encounter between the individual and two bears.

The injured man is described only as an out-of-state recreationist. He was backpacking with three other people on the Shoshone National Forest near Granite Lake. The victim was apparently hiking ahead of the group when he encountered two bears at close range. The encounter happened too suddenly for him to deploy bear spray he was carrying.

It is unknown what species of bear was involved in the conflict at this time, but investigators are hopeful evidence at the scene will provide some insight on what bear species was involved.

“We wish the individual a full and speedy recovery and are appreciative of his willingness to provide detailed information about the incident,” said Cody Regional Wildlife Supervisor Dan Smith.

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