Two Glacier Park visitors injured in Griz attack
Hikers surprise female with 2 cubs on Grinnell Glacier Trail
August 25, 2005
Two visitors to Glacier National Park were injured Thursday morning, August 25th, in a surprise close-range encounter with a female grizzly bear with two cubs. The victims, a yet unidentified man and woman, were reported to have surprised the bear at approximately five feet. To avoid a continued attack, the visitors apparently rolled off the trail, falling approximately 30-50 feet down a steep, rocky area below the trail. However, this fall may have aggravated their injuries.
The incident occurred on the Grinnell Glacier Trail, approximately two miles above the head of Josephine Lake.
Due to the nature of the injuries and the steep and difficult terrain, the victims were transported from the scene via helicopter to an area were the helicopter could land and further medical care could be provided. Both victims were later flown by A.L.E.R.T. helicopter to Kalispell Regional Medical Center. In addition to A.L.E.R.T. helicopterís assistance, Minute Man helicopter of West Glacier was used to transport rangers to the scene.
The Grinnell Glacier Trail was closed immediately after the incident was reported. It will not be reopened until there are two patrols by rangers with no bear sightings, nor any evidence of bear in the area.
Other area trails were also temporarily closed for safety concerns; they will be reopened as deemed appropriate.
Park rangers, including bear management rangers, will investigate the incident and based on their findings, in accordance with Glacierís Bear Management Guidelines, park management will determine what, if any, further actions will be taken.
This is the first instance of a bear-related injury this year in Glacier Park.