13 Jun

Wildlife officials said Thursday a female grizzly bear that attacked a lone hiker near West Yellowstone was probably protecting her cub and a chunk of meat she had buried near the trail.

Peter Sellers, 34, of Boise, Idaho, was attacked on a Forest Service road Tuesday. The bear bit the man several times, breaking his upper arm and puncturing his neck, head, shoulders, torso and a leg. A spokeswoman for Madison Memorial Hospital in Rexburg, Idaho, said Sellers was in stable condition Thursday.

Mel Frost, a spokeswoman for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, said the bear was near at least one cub and the carcass of an elk calf was buried about 10 feet from the trail.

Officials said Sellers had hiked the trail several times before and was carrying bear spray and a pistol, but the attack happened too quickly for him to respond. He hiked about three or four miles to a trailhead, where a Gallatin National Forest survey crew called 911.


Posted by on June 13, 2009 in Idaho Wildlife Stories



  1. gary

    June 16, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    They are so unpredictable. Grizzlies are the one thing I really fear being in the wilds with.

  2. Mel

    June 16, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    Matt_tuomi – Thanks for dropping in and leaving a comment. You might want to make your blogger profile visible to all if you intend to comment here regularly.

  3. Mel

    June 16, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    Gary – You are very correct there. In our neck of the woods, if you are in bear country, it is hard to focus on your task at hand. I understand that this gentleman was an experienced outdoors type person. Be safe, Gary!

  4. The Fisherbabe

    June 17, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    Hey Mel!!! Thanks for the interesting read…Scary Stuff!!!

  5. John

    June 18, 2009 at 6:10 am

    Thanks Mel! These articles are really interesting. I look forward to reading more tonight when I have time.

  6. Mel

    June 18, 2009 at 9:53 am

    Your very welcome, FisherBabe. Were you in bear country when you made your recent Pike fishing trip? Be safe!

  7. Mel

    June 18, 2009 at 9:55 am

    Hello John – Welcome to Idaho Fishing Notebook. Thanks for your comment and please do read the other posts as they interest you. By the way, your comments and thoughts are always welcome here on my blog. Hope to share some readers with you.

  8. Doug

    June 18, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    Scary! I live in rural Minnesota and we usually get a few stories each year of a bear attack happening as people are just going about their business in their yards. You've got to keep your heads up and be aware of your surroundings. Oh, and keep your trash closed and not sitting out where they can come and get used to rummaging.

  9. Mel

    June 18, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    Doug – Good points to add. Thanks for sharing with me and the rest of my readers. That reminds me of another post I will have to get written for my blog.Also, thanks for posting here at Idaho Fishing Notebook. Your comments are always welcome here.

  10. Extreme Outdoors

    June 18, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    If there is one thing (aside from money) that keeps me from exploring the wilderness of Western United States, it is the Grizzly Bear. Its a scary thought to be walking through the woods knowing you've been demoted on the food chain. He is definitely a champ for making the long hike back to the survey crew!!

  11. Mel

    June 18, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    Extreme Outdoors – Thanks for dropping by my blog and leaving a comment. They are always welcome.Yes, he is quite a fortunate fellow. Considering that the number of injury's suffered and the sure set in of "shock", it is hard to believe that he was able to hike as far as he did for help.Keep saving your money, the western outdoors awaits you!

  12. CDGardens

    June 19, 2009 at 6:27 am

    This is a good story…the bear was only protecting her territory, not that I would place myself in her range. I don't like having to look over my shoulder all the time.In the same token you can see the strength of the young man to survive and most likely a candidate to return to the wild after he heals. A man who wants to expewrience the best of nature's design.

  13. Kenny Breckenridge

    June 23, 2009 at 12:14 am

    Mel, good post! Sorry for the late response, as I have been busy, busy, busy, I guess its better late than never! All wildlife can be dangerous under the right circumstances, we just have to respect nature and be alert! Listen to our senses, and learn how to give wildlife its space and respect. Even then, bad things can still happen!

  14. Mel

    June 24, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    CDGardens – Good to hear from you, again. Yes, the Grizzly was doing what comes instinctive for her and her cubs. I thought this was an incredible story from two different aspects. The bear and the man who somehow survived.Kenny – I can understand being busy, busy. Thanks for taking the time to catch up on my blog. You are correct. The outdoors is a marvelous place where wildlife and humans seek to coincide. Many great experiences are enjoyed compared to the occasional one that is a traumatic experience for users of the great outdoors.

  15. Othmar Vohringer

    June 25, 2009 at 11:08 pm

    Grizzly bears are one of the most dangerous animals in North America because they are at the top of the food chain. Meaning, they have no natural respect unless in areas where they are regularly hunted.Here in BC we have the largest grizzly population in North America and it becomes a concern to every outdoor user. This year alone we heard of three reports of people being attacked by grizzly bears and it seems they are not impressed by pepper spray either.One victim emptied two cans of pepper spry into the bears face and it never slowed the animal down.-ov-

  16. Mel

    June 26, 2009 at 9:05 am

    Othmar – Great comment on the range and instinct of the Grizzly bear. No Pepper Spay, right? Well, they can do their thing, and, hopefully those of us outdoor folks who are in their range will attempt to be bear savy before we make the trip. You never know!


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