Bear Incidents Force 3 Campground Closings
A bear attacked a person sleeping inside a tent early Thursday (July 17), leading authorities to close two campgrounds near Yellowstone National Park.
The camper suffered bite and claw marks on his arms while protecting himself. His name and age weren’t disclosed. Authorities said he was taken to West Park Hospital in Cody, Wyo., which refused to release any information, according to the Associated Press.
As a precaution, the U.S. Forest Service closed the Soda Butte campground, where the camper was attacked, and the nearby Chief Joseph campground, both in the Gallatin National Forest. The sites are along U.S. 212, a few miles from the northeast entrance to the park.
Forest spokeswoman Marna Daley said the bear was believed to be a grizzly. She didn’t know how many people were evacuated from the campgrounds.
The camper apparently had stored his food properly, Daley said. She didn’t know if he was camping alone.
The Forest Service said in a statement that the campgrounds will remain closed “until the bear is located or the immediate concern subsides.”
The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks will decide how to deal with the bear. In previous cases, problem bears have been relocated to more remote areas.
In a separate incident, a campground near Mountain Rest, S.C., was closed down Thursday after campers said a bear ripped open a tent and other bears were spotted near the campground, according to WYFF, Greenville, S.C.
“According to campers at the site, a black bear ripped open an individual’s tent in search of food. Reports also came in of a mother bear and three cubs at the site,” said Mike Crane, Pickens District ranger.
The U.S. Forest Service asked the campers at Long Bottom Ford primitive campground in Oconee County to leave as soon as possible. The Forest Service said the campground will be closed for at least a week.
The campground is located in extreme northwest corner of the state.