Bear Attack Victim Recovering as Search Continues for Animal

Kalispell hospital officials say elderly woman is 'resting comfortably and doing well'

By Justin Franz
Erik Wenum and other members of Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks participate in a simulated bear attack near Foys Lake in 2014. Beacon File Photo

An elderly woman attacked by a black bear in her home near Kalispell is “resting comfortably and doing well,” according to hospital officials.

The victim, whose name has not been released, survived an attack that occurred Sunday afternoon inside her home west of town between Ashley Lake and Batavia Lane. Kalispell Regional Healthcare staff confirmed Tuesday morning that the woman was recovering.

State game wardens are searching for the bear responsible for the “severe attack,” according to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials.

FWP spokesperson John Fraley said officials don’t know how the bear got inside the woman’s home, but that it clearly left through the window. He emphasized that bears had been “extensively fed” in the area, but declined to name the parties responsible for the feeding.

Fraley said he doesn’t know whether those responsible for feeding the bears would face charges.

FWP’s Wildlife Attack Response Team completed its initial investigation Monday afternoon.

Fraley said the agency would have additional updates as the investigation continues.

Wildlife officials have reported increased activity in recent weeks as bears prepare to hibernate. FWP says residents should remove food attractants from residential areas to avoid conflicts with bears.

Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.