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Woman survives bear attack along Trail Creek

by KATE HESTON
Hagadone News Network | October 2, 2023 1:30 PM

A 73-year-old woman was hospitalized on Sunday following a bear attack along Trail Creek just west of North Fork Road, state officials say.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks was notified of the incident about 3 p.m., Oct. 1, officials with the state wildlife agency said.

The attack occurred along the bank of Trail Creek a few miles west of the North Fork Road near the U.S.-Canada border. The A.L.E.R.T. air ambulance transported the victim to Logan Health Medical Center in Kalispell.

The attack occurred on Flathead National Forest while the woman was taking a walk with her husband and their dog. The bear emerged from the thick brush prior to the attack, officials said.

Her husband deployed bear spray until the bear ultimately moved away from the victim. The couple then returned to their vehicle and drove to a location where they could call for help.

Officials offered no updates on the woman’s injuries in a press release confirming the attack Monday afternoon. They were unsure whether the attack came from a black bear or grizzly.

The attack remains under investigation by wardens and bear specialists, officials said. The site of the encounter, along a portion of Trail Creek known as “Bubble ups,” is closed.

It was the second local bear attack this year. In June, a rafting guide was injured in a black bear attack while camping on the Middle Fork of the Flathead River. The victim was treated for their injuries at Logan Health in Whitefish.

Reporter Kate Heston can be reached at kheston@dailyinterlake.com or 758-4459.