Story of Frightening Attack

August 6th, 2010

Grizzly Bear and Cub

The details of a bear rampage at a Montana campground in the Gallatin National Forest near Yellowstone National Park last week showed that some commonly known precautions for camping in bear country worked and some didn’t.

A grizzly bear killed one man and injured two people as they slept in their tents.  One of the victims, Deb Freele, said she woke up just before the bear bit her on the arm.  She says she screamed, but the louder she screamed, the harder the bear bit down.  So she played dead and when she stopped moving and screaming, the bear stopped biting, then left her tent.

Playing dead and not fighting back is one of the things wildlife officials tell people to do if they are being attacked.  In this case, it worked.  Campers are also warned to keep food out of the reach of bears because it increases the danger of an attack. In this case, all the campers had put their food in metal food canisters at the campsites but that didn’t stop this rampaging bear.

Wildlife officials don’t know why the bear or bears targeted three of the 27 tents at the Soda Butte Campground. They later trapped the bear and found her three cubs that were malnourished.

– Deb Acord

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Bears at Palmer Park Mountain Bike Race

May 22nd, 2010
Bears at Mountain Bike Race in Palmer Park

Today was the first race in the Ascent Cycling MTB Series put on by Sand Creek Sports. Mountain Bikers weren’t the only ones to show up. A mama bear and her 2 cubs wandered through the course during the Pro race during the afternoon.

I was out shooting photos of the race. My friend, Matt Simmons, was in 4th. I was expecting to come by and I kept waiting longer than I thought it should be. My first thought was he had crashed but no one else came by either.

All of a sudden my friend hanging out with me said to look behind. There was the mama bear and her 2 cubs walking across the course. They crossed a couple parts of the course and went down into a drainage.

Soon my friend came by along with about 7 other riders. By then I think the top 3 had a gap of nearly 10 minutes. In the end I doubt it made much difference if any difference in placing since the top 3 already had a fairly good gap.

Matt said he was close to the bears when he got stopped. The mama bear got up on her hind legs and was growling. He was happy when they moved on but knew they headed to where the course looped back. He wasn’t sure how long to wait to make sure he didn’t run into them again.

I also got several shots of the racers and will get some posted in the next day or two. In the meantime, here are a few more photos of the bears.

Update: I’ve uploaded several race photos. I’ve gotten questions about where I saw the bears. This map on SmugMug shows the locations of the bear photos.

Bears at Palmer Park Mountain Bike Race

Bears at Palmer Park Mountain Bike Race

Bears at Palmer Park Mountain Bike Race

Bears at Palmer Park Mountain Bike Race

Bears at Palmer Park Mountain Bike Race

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