Regional Offices > Cody Region > Cody Region News > Wyoming Game and Fish Department concludes investigation of hiker injured by a bear

Wyoming Game and Fish Department concludes investigation of hiker injured by a bear

September 14, 2018
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Cody - The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has completed an investigation into a recent incident where a bear injured a man backpacking in the Beartooth Mountains.

On Sept. 9, while hiking near Granite Lake in the Beartooth Mountains, a backpacker was attacked by a bear in a sudden, surprise encounter.  The man received injuries during the attack and was flown by helicopter to an area hospital.

During the course of the investigation, Game and Fish personnel interviewed the victim and members of his party and visited the site of the attack several times.  While at the site, Game and Fish found evidence that multiple grizzly bears had been in the area utilizing pine nut caches as a food source.  Due to the presence of multiple bears in the area using this food source, Game and Fish was unable to identify the individual bear or bears that were involved in the attack.

“This appears to be an unfortunate case of a surprise encounter that occurred at close range,” said Dan Smith Cody Regional Wildlife Supervisor.  “After spending time at the site of the incident, it was determined the bear was most likely behaving in a defensive manner to protect a food source.  Although the species of bear has not been positively determined, we suspect the attack involved a grizzly bear.”

As a precaution, Game and Fish coordinated with the U.S. Forest Service to temporarily close a two-mile area around Granite Lake.  For more information about the closure, call the Shoshone National Forest office at 307-527-6921 or click here.  

“Based on the information we have now, Game and Fish plans to take no management action at this time,” Smith said. “Our best wishes continue to be with the victim as he recovers.”

Game and Fish encourages those recreating in areas occupied by bears to use caution and be bear aware.  Learn more about being bear aware and reducing the risk of an encounter by visiting the Game and Fish website.


- WGFD -

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