Grizzly bear kills mountain biker in Montana

Two mountain bikers encounter grizzly resulting in death of one

News

Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry told the Associated Press that Brad Treat and another man were mountain biking near Halfmoon Lake of Glacier National Park in Montana when they came across the bear, surprising it. The other man escaped unscathed and sought help while the bear knocked Treat off his bike. Help arrived too late, as Treat was declared dead at the scene. The bear has not been found, though authorities are searching for it, and park users have been notified of the incident. Authorities have closed the area, which is about 3 miles away from Glacier’s west entrance.

Treat’s death marks the seventh grizzly fatality since 2010 in the Northern Rockies, with this incident the only one outside the greater Yellowstone area. A couple times a year, park visitors at Glacier National Park encounter bears but Treat is only the 11th person to have died from a bear attack since the park’s creation in 1910. The last death from an attack happened in 1998, when three bears killed a park employee.

The general area of the attack is in the northern part of Montana, near the Canadian border.

The location of the attack was in the northern part of Montana, near the Canadian border.

Grizzlies in the lower 48 states have been designated a threatened species since the 1970s, but their numbers are increasing and so are conflicts with humans. This video shot in Jasper, Canada, shows a very similar encounter where two mountain bikers got close to a grizzly. The bear charged three times but eventually backed off.

The grizzlies in the Glacier area are among about 1000 bears in the Northern Continental Divide ecosystem, which also includes the Bob Marshall Wilderness south of the park. At least 700 more grizzlies live in and around Yellowstone National Park, which is roughly 360 miles south of Glacier.

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)

About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.


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  • thub says:

    I live in Alaska, that being said every ride I take is in bear country including rides in Anchorage where I live. Very sad to hear of the loss of life in this mauling, prayers for Brad’s family and friends. The key is to make noise and never let your guard / eyes down. I ride with a small Bluetooth speaker, annoying to some other trail users but it beats hours of listening to bells. For longer rides I use bells. I always carry bear spray and sometimes my handgun (Ruger 454) if I am in the backcountry and far from help. By constantly making noise I have avoided multiple moose and bear close encounters. I fully understand that sometimes its just unavoidable. Do your research on traveling in bear country before going there. As mountain bikers we are more susceptible to encounters. If sight lines / visibility is low slow way down. Stay safe out there and ride on.

    • Gordon Dudley Bossley says:

      Good to read a rational, sensible post thub! Sadly I suppose someone will be hysterically screaming “kill the bear, kill the bear”.

  • GreekReader says:

    Good Info thub, I will pass this along to a friend is leaving Michigan, for Colorado at the end of the month. I’m sure she’ll appreciate the safe precautions, be Blessed and safe riding!

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