1 dead, 2 in­jured in bear attacks at camp­ground near Yel­low­stone

Austin American-Statesman - - WORLD & NATION -

COOKE CITY, Mont. — At least one bear ram­paged through a heav­ily oc­cu­pied camp­ground Wed­nes­day near Yel­low­stone Na­tional Park in the mid­dle of the night, killing one per­son and in­jur­ing two oth­ers dur­ing a ter­ri­fy­ing at­tack that forced peo­ple to hide in their cars as an an­i­mal tore through tents.

Au­thor­i­ties said three sep­a­rate attacks left a male dead and a woman and an­other male in­jured at the Soda Butte camp­ground. The woman suf­fered se­vere lac­er­a­tions and crushed bones from bites on her arms, and the sur­viv­ing male was bit­ten on his calf.

Of­fi­cials did not re­lease the names or ages of the vic­tims.

Don and Paige Wilhelm of the North Texas town of Aledo were spend­ing the night in the camp­site next to the woman.

“We heard a scream about 2,” Don Wilhelm said. “We weren’t sure what it was. We thought maybe teenagers yelling.”

Paige Wilhelm added: “We heard a lady in the tent next door say ‘No.’ I said, ‘Don, there’s a bear,’ and started hear­ing this snuf­fling. We heard her say, ‘A bear has at­tacked me.’”

The cou­ple waited un­til they could no longer hear the an­i­mal breath­ing be­fore run­ning for their car. Don Wilhelm later helped ban­dage the woman’s wounds.

Both sur­vivors were hos­pi­tal­ized in Cody, Wyo.

The vic­tims were in three dif­fer­ent tents, ac­cord­ing to Mon­tana Fish, Wildlife and Parks War­den Capt. Sam Shep­pard. Two of the tents were close to each other. The male who was killed was alone in a tent about a quar­ter-mile away in the heav­ily oc­cu­pied camp­ground that has 27 sites for tents and recre­ational ve­hi­cles, he said.

Campers through­out the site had their food in stor­age boxes, Shep­pard said.

“They were do­ing things right,” Shep­pard said. “It was ran­dom. I have no idea why this bear picked these three tents out of all the tents there.”

Wildlife of­fi­cials were in­spect­ing the camp­ground to de­ter­mine what hap­pened.

“We don’t know if it was one bear, two bears, a black bear or griz­zly bear,” Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesman Ron Aasheim said. “Will it come back tonight? That’s the ques­tion.”

Au­thor­i­ties set five baited traps and were col­lect­ing ev­i­dence to de­ter­mine the type and num­ber of bears in­volved.

Tom Reed

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.