ISLAND PARK — A grizzly bear protecting a cub reportedly attacked a person running near Island Park Friday morning.
Fremont County Sheriff Len Humphries confirmed with EastIdahoNews.com the attack happened near a trail off Stamp Meadow Road. The 41-year-old Maryland man made it back to the cabin he was staying at and called 911 around 7:30 a.m.
“The person attacked received a couple of puncture wounds but refused medical treatment (from an ambulance),” Humphries said.
The man’s family later took him to a local hospital.
Friday’s attack is the first known bear attack in Fremont County in 2021, according to Humphries.
Just this week, a grizzly bear attacked and killed a cyclist camping in western Montana. The Associated Press reports the attack happened early Tuesday morning when the bear dragged Leah Davis Lokan, 65, of Chico, California, out of her tent and mauled her.
“Grizzly bears have run into increasing conflict with humans in the Northern Rockies over the past decade as the federally protected animals expanded into new areas and the number of people living and recreating in the region grew,” according to the AP. “That has spurred calls from elected officials in Montana and neighboring Wyoming and Idaho to lift protections so the animals could be hunted.”
The National Park Service reports around 728 grizzly bears live in the Greater Yellowstone Area as of 2019. The area spans around 20,522 square miles of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho.
EastIdahoNews.com will provide updates when they become available.