Sunday, September 25, 2011

Bear attacks Idaho bow hunter near Yellowstone park - 24th Sept 2011

A bear, possibly a grizzly, attacked an Idaho elk hunter armed with a bow and arrows who may have startled the animal near Yellowstone National Park on Saturday, wildlife officials said.

The 40-year-old man was airlifted to a hospital suffering from a broken arm and wounds to his hand that required surgery, but his injuries were not life-threatening, said Gregg Losinski, regional conservation educator with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.

The attack was the latest in an unusual spate of bear attacks in the Yellowstone area this year. Losinski said the man and a hunting partner were seeking elk near Island Park, Idaho, south of the Montana border, when they startled a bear.

The bear charged at the hunter, who was nearer the animal than his partner. The partner used a bear spray canister, which shoots an aerosol mixture of hot pepper, as the animal retreated.

Idaho conservation officers said early indications suggested the bear was a grizzly but they were awaiting confirmation from DNA evidence gathered from the scene.

Wildlife officials decided not to capture the animal, based on the description of the attack provided by the hunters, both from Island Park, and an investigation of the scene.

"It's very clear from the incident that the bear was surprised and ran away. It did not intend to kill or consume the men," said Losinski, who is a member of a federal-state task force on grizzly bears. Read More