A grizzly bear in Montana has killed a mountain biker who was riding “a forested trail in the Halfmoon Lakes area south of Glacier National Park,” the Flathead Beacon reports. The victim was Brad Treat, local Kalispell native, and law enforcement officer for the US Forest Service.
Treat and one other man were mountain biking in the afternoon, when they reportedly surprised a the bear around 2pm. “Treat was taken off his bike by the animal,” according to the Beacon. “The second rider was able to escape uninjured and summon help.”
While grizzly bear fatalities do happen in the Glacier region, they are pretty rare:
“The death is the first fatal grizzly attack in Northwest Montana since 2001, when an elk hunter was killed on the Blackfoot Clearwater Game Range near Ovando.
Grizzly bear attacks are rare in the Glacier region but not unheard of. Since Glacier National Park was created in 1910, there have been 10 fatal grizzly attacks in the national park, the most recent in May 1998 when a 26-year-old man was killed hiking in the Upper Two Medicine Valley.
Northwest Montana is home to the largest grizzly bear population in the lower 48 states with approximately 1,000 bears living in the region.” (Source: The Flathead Beacon)
Our thoughts and prayers are with Treat’s family and friends.
If you’re out mountain biking in bear country, be sure to read our guide, “Biking in Bear Country: A Guide To Conflict-Free Adventures.” Just know that, as this sad story illustrates, there are never any guarantees when you journey out into the wild.