Wildlife officials say grizzly protecting cub, food during attack

Published June 12, 2009 7:51 am
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2009, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Wildlife officials said Thursday a female grizzly bear that attacked a lone hiker near West Yellowstone was probably protecting her cub and a chunk of meat she had buried near the trail.

Peter Sellers, 34, of Boise, Idaho, was attacked on a Forest Service road Tuesday. The bear bit the man several times, breaking his upper arm and puncturing his neck, head, shoulders, torso and a leg. A spokeswoman for Madison Memorial Hospital in Rexburg, Idaho, said Sellers was in stable condition Thursday.

Mel Frost, a spokeswoman for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, said the bear was near at least one cub and the carcass of an elk calf was buried about 10 feet from the trail.

Officials said Sellers had hiked the trail several times before and was carrying bear spray and a pistol, but the attack happened too quickly for him to respond. He hiked about three or four miles to a trailhead, where a Gallatin National Forest survey crew called 911.

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