Posted: Sep 18, 2012 4:26 AM by MTN News
Updated: Sep 18, 2012 4:26 AM
KALISPELL- We are learning more about the black bear that attacked a man at Black Bear Creek in the Bob Marshall Wilderness on Friday morning. Wildlife officials say a necropsy turned up more evidence tying the bear to the mauling incident.
The bear was able to get into some food items at the camp after the attack with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Investigator Brian Sommers reporting that a number of items found in the bear's stomach were consistent with items found at the camp.
Sommers also noted that blood on the claws of the black bear has been swabbed and will be tested to confirm a tie to the man who was mauled. As previously reported, pepper spray was evident on the bear's fur.
Sommers and FWP Bear and Lion Specialist Erik Wenum report that the bear was a male, about five years old, and was in good condition. The bear weighed 185 pounds.
Sommers said that when they went into the site to dispatch it Friday afternoon, the bear displayed behavior consistent with food conditioning and habituation.
The bear was killed about 70 yards from the scene of the attack, and was in the process of moving back towards the tent where the attack occurred.
"This was a predatory attack by this black bear," Sommers said.
FWP Warden Sergeant Jon Obst, who interviewed the man who was attacked, says the bear jumped on the tent about 7:30 a.m., collapsed it, tore through the fabric, and then began to maul the man.
The man sprayed the bear with bear-pepper spray and it ceased its attack, but the animal stayed in the area until an US Forest Service employee and other trail crew members arrived at the scene and chased the bear off.
The victim was flown to Kalispell Regional Medical Center where he was reported to be in stable condition on Sunday.