Trail-running man injured in grizzly attack in eastern Idaho

Grizzly Bear

ISLAND PARK, Idaho (AP) — Idaho state wildlife officials say a man was injured after he was attacked by a grizzly bear in eastern Idaho on Friday morning.

Idaho Department of Fish and Game spokesman Roger Phillips said in a prepared statement that the man was running on a trail in the Kilgore area near Island Park around 6:30 a.m. when he encountered the female grizzly with her cub. The female bear charged him, and the man laid down in an effort to protect himself.

The grizzly struck him several times before running off, Phillips said.

The man’s injuries weren’t life-threatening, and he was able to make it back to his cabin to call 911. He was taken to a hospital in Rexburg for treatment.

The Idaho Department of Fish and Game has closed the area as a precaution, and the department and the Fremont County Sheriff’s Office are investigating.

Bears are generally protective of their cubs, and the U.S. Forest Service says most bear attacks result from surprise encounters when a bear is defending its young or a food source. Hikers in bear country are advised to make noise to avoid surprising bears, to avoid hiking during early and late hours and to carry bear spray.

RELATED: Grizzly shot, killed after fatal attack of California woman