17 year old boy survives bear attack Montana
By: Pete Thomas | April 8, 2019 2:33 pm
A 17-year-old boy was attacked by a bear Sunday while he searched for shed antlers in Montana, but escaped with relatively minor injuries.
According to Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, the unidentified male and his family were vacationing in a cabin south of Ennis. The teen “was walking down a hill around 2 p.m. when he heard a ‘thump’ behind him,” FWP stated in a news release issued Monday. “He turned around to see a bear charging at him.”
The teen was carrying bear spray but could not react before the initial impact.
Grizzly bear image is courtesy of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
The bear pinned him against a tree, then briefly backed off, allowing him to fall to his knees and crawl between two trees in an attempt to protect his head and vital areas.
While on the ground, wearing a backpack and hoodie, the teen reached over his shoulder and deployed his bear spray, and the animal fled.
The teen was able to contact his family while walking from the area. He was treated for relatively minor injuries at Madison Valley Medical Center.
FWP stated that based on the teen’s description the bear was most likely a grizzly, and that grizzly bears typically respond in this manner during surprise encounters.
The agency added that while an investigation remains open, “no further management action is being taken at this time.”
The incident occurred at a time when bears are emerging from hibernation. Hikers are urged to be aware of their surroundings and keep bear spray handy; to stay in groups if possible, and to make noise to avoid surprise encounters.
FWP stated that if a hiker should encounter a grizzly bear, “Never approach it. Back away slowly and leave the area.”