Brave husband successfully fights off bear attacking 73-year-old wife in park

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An elderly woman was hospitalised after she was attacked by a bear.

The 73-year-old woman was with her husband and a dog in the Flathead National Forest, west of Glacier National Park and just south of the US-Canadian border on Sunday afternoon, when a bear emerged from thick brush and attacked her, Montana wildlife officials said.

Her husband deployed bear spray, and the bear moved away from the woman, according to the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

The couple returned to their vehicle and drove to a location where they could call emergency services at about 3pm.

The woman was flown to the hospital in Kalispell for treatment. Wildlife officials had no information about the woman’s medical condition on Monday.

Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesperson Dillon Tabish said. Her name has not been released.

The attack happened on the bank of Trail Creek, which is a few miles west of the North Fork Road and less than five miles south of the Canadian border.

The area is closed while the investigation continues. Officials don’t know if a grizzly bear or a black bear was involved. The couple owns property in the area, Tabish said.

The incident occurred in the Flathead National Forest, west of Glacier National Park and just south of the US-Canadian border ( Image: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
The incident occurred in the Flathead National Forest, west of Glacier National Park and just south of the US-Canadian border ( Image: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

The attack came two days after a grizzly bear attacked and killed a Canadian couple and their dog in Banff National Park in Alberta Province. The Parks Canada agency received an alert from a GPS device in the park’s Red Deer River valley Friday evening that indicated a bear attack was happening, agency spokeswoman Natalie Fay said in a statement.

Glacier National Park in Montana (file photo) ( Image: NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Glacier National Park in Montana (file photo) ( Image: NurPhoto via Getty Images)

A response team was mobilized but was hampered by bad weather and was able to reach the site only early Saturday by about 1am, when team members found the bodies of a couple. The identities of the victims were not immediately released.

“Weather conditions at the time did not allow for helicopter use, and the response team travelled through the night to the location by the ground,” Fay said. The team found an aggressive grizzly bear in the area and killed the animal at the scene for the sake of public safety, Fay said.

Experts say bear attacks are becoming more common as warm weather means people are more likely to come outdoors ( Image: Getty Images)
Experts say bear attacks are becoming more common as warm weather means people are more likely to come outdoors ( Image: Getty Images)

Authorities closed portions of Banff National Park, a popular tourist destination, as a precaution. Kim Titchener, founder of a group that provides bear safety seminars, said she was a friend of one of the victims’ family members and said they were a Canadian couple. She said their dog also was killed.

“This couple were very experienced outdoor enthusiasts,” Titchener said. “They were in the backcountry to camp.” The statement from Parks Canada said that Royal Canadian Mounted Police later transported the victims to Sundre, Alberta. “This is a tragic incident and Parks Canada wishes to express its sincere condolences to the families and friends of the victims,” the statement read.


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This article by Vassia Barba was first published by The Mirror on 3 October 2023. Lead Image: The woman was flown to the hospital in Kalispell after the bear attacked her (Image: AP).

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