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September 27, 2021

Grizzly bear chases mountain biker near area of previous attack in Idaho

A grizzly bear walks through a field in Grand Teton National Park. A female grizzly bear chased a biker but did not catch or hurt him near Island Park, Idaho, on Friday. (Shutterstock)

ISLAND PARK, Idaho — A mountain biker avoided injury after being chased by a grizzly bear near Island Park in northeastern Idaho Friday morning.

The U.S. Forest Service for Caribou-Targhee National Forest posted on Facebook and said a female grizzly bear was sighted in the Stamp Meadows Road area. The bear chased the biker but did not catch or hurt him.

“We did confirm bear tracks in the area,” said Curtis Hendricks, regional wildlife manager for the Upper Snake Region for the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.

Fish and Game officials believe the female grizzly who chased the biker has cubs. Hendricks says they have posted “Bears in the Area” signs so people are aware.

Earlier this month, a man was attacked by a grizzly bear in the same area near Island Park and survived. A momma grizzly bear charged at Tom Whitney who was jogging on a different section of the trail off Stamp Meadows Road.

“I noticed on my left side there was this furry patch, and I immediately stopped, looked up and made eye contact with what I quickly realized was a grizzly bear,” Whitney said in a previous interview.

The bear bit and clawed Whitney, but he survived by laying in the fetal position and covering his head and neck. The bear’s cub stayed a short distance away during the attack.

Hendricks said it’s unknown if the female grizzly bear that attacked Whitney is the same bear that chased the mountain biker on Friday.

“We can’t say for certain,” he said. “This location occurred approximately four miles from where the jogger had his incident with the bear. We can’t confirm it.”

Hendricks says people need to remain vigilant and they should carry bear spray and know how to use it. Do not travel alone and make sure to store food in a hard-sided bear-proof box, or in a place that a bear would not get to easily.

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