Bear That Attacked Pablo Man was Defending Cubs

By Beacon Staff

KALISPELL — The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes have no plans to kill a grizzly bear that mauled a man near the tribal college in Pablo last week, a tribal natural resources spokeswoman said.

“It was a surprise encounter between a female grizzly and her two yearling cubs in an area that is frequented by bears,” said tribal natural resources spokeswoman Germaine White. “The bear charged, attacked, and retreated and left the area. It was clearly defensive behavior. She was defending her cubs.”

Tribal wildlife officials consulted with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services grizzly bear recovery coordinator Chris Servheen in determining that the bears and the area of the encounter will be monitored closely. However, the bears haven’t been seen since the attack.

The 42-year-old victim of the April 19 attack was bitten three times on the arms and head and continued to recover Monday at a Kalispell hospital. His name has not been released.

Lake County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Karen Sargent tells the Missoulian that cosmetic surgery will be needed to repair injuries to the man’s head and face.

White is still urging people to take proper precautions because grizzly and black bears are becoming more active.

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