Man bitten by grizzly bear during study of Island Park habitat near Yellowstone

A wildlife technician was bitten by a grizzly bear Monday while gathering habitat data in Island Park, Idaho, west of Yellowstone National Park.

While gathering data as part of a grizzly bear habitat research project, Brett Panting, a wildlife technician working for the Wildlife Conservation Society was bitten by a grizzly bear during a surprise encounter, according to a statement from the Idaho Fish and Game Department.

The incident occurred on the Caribou-Targhee National Forest, near the Davis Lake Area of Big Bend Ridge, part of Island Park. After biting Panting, the bear ran off and other volunteers were able to transport Panting to Eastern Idaho Medical Center.

He was treated for puncture wounds and lacerations and was being held for minor surgery and observation.

Caribou-Targhee National Forest staff are working with Idaho Fish and Game to determine how to proceed, and affected livestock permitees are being contacted.   All of Island Park is habitat for both black bears and grizzly bears.

Idaho wildlife officials advised that anyone spending time in the forest is encouraged to carry bear spray and to make noise while moving through dense vegetation.

Contact Yellowstone Gate at 307-213-9818 or [email protected]

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