Update on Bear Attack near West Glacier

By | July 1, 2016

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) personnel and Flathead County Sheriff’s Officials are continuing to investigate a bear attack on a mountain biker on June 29 on Forest Service property a few miles south of West Glacier. The attack occurred yesterday afternoon and it appeared to be a surprise encounter. Samples collected on the scene will be used to help identify whether it is a black or grizzly bear.

Brad Treat, a law enforcement officer with the U.S. Forest Service, was riding his mountain bike when he was attacked by a bear on the Green Gate/Half Moon trail system off of U.S. Highway 2. Treat’s companion reported the incident and was not attacked. Treat was found dead by officers at the scene of the attack and Treat’s body was transported out by off-highway vehicle.

FWP’s Wildlife Human Attack Response Team is investigating the incident. The team is comprised of wardens and biologists trained in investigating these incidents.

The Green Gate/Half Moon trail system remains closed and posted by Forest Service officials in the interest of public safety.   For more information on the closure contact Flathead National Forest at 406-758-5200.

Yesterday, investigators from FWP searched for the offending bear but were unable to locate it. Late last night, two traps and remote cameras were set for the bear and monitoring of the traps will continue. Flights are also being conducted with the aid of Two Bear Air in an attempt to locate the bear.

FWP Warden Captain Lee Anderson noted that samples for DNA analysis were collected at the scene in efforts to identify the individual bear. “We are attempting to capture and/or confirm the identity of the offending bear,” Anderson said. “When we have more information we will decide what actions to take.”

Anderson noted that the thoughts and prayers of everyone go out to the Treat family and the U. S. Forest Service. Anderson thanks Glacier National Park, the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office, Search and Rescue, Two Bear Air, Alert, and the U.S. Forest Service employees for their efforts. The incident is under investigation and more details will be released as they become available.

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