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Husband Uses Bear Spray to Save 73-Year-Old Woman from Bear Attack on a Montana Trail

In the latest incident involving a bear, Montana’s Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) service says a man used bear spray to save his wife from a bear attack. 

Wildlife officials say they were contacted around 3 p.m. this past Sunday about an incident on a trail near the U.S.-Canada border.  First responders airlifted a 73-year-old victim to a hospital in Kalispell, outside Glacier National Park. 

The couple was hiking in an area called Trail Creek on national forestland when the bear emerged from the brush and attacked a woman. The man deployed bear spray, and the animal left. The two people returned to their car and called for help.

Montana wildlife officials are investigating the incident and have closed the area to other visitors. Officials do not know if it was a black bear or a grizzly.

Montana FWP released this list as a reminder for anyone visiting bear country:

  • Carry bear spray and be prepared to use it immediately.
  • Make noise to alert bears to your presence and travel in groups.
  • Stay away from animal carcasses, which often attract bears.
  • Follow food storage orders from the applicable land management agency.
  • If you encounter a bear, never approach it and then leave the area when it is safe to do so.
  • If a bear attacks you and you are without a deterrent or the deterrent hasn’t worked, stay face down on the ground, protecting your face and neck with your arms. Stay still until you’re certain the bear has moved away.
  • Keep garbage, bird feeders, pet food, and other attractants put away in a secure building. Keep garbage in a secure building until the day it is collected. Certified bear-resistant garbage containers are available in many areas.
  • Never feed wildlife. Bears that become food-conditioned lose their natural foraging behavior and pose threats to human safety. It is illegal to feed bears in Montana.

Learn more about bear safety.

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