HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Wildlife officials set traps, installed wilderness cameras and scouted the woods by helicopter Thursday for the bear that attacked and killed a U.S. Forest Service employee as he rode a mountain bike along a trail outside Glacier National Park.
Brad Treat, 38, was knocked off his bike Wednesday after he another rider apparently surprised the bear — a grizzly, according to initial and still-unconfirmed accounts — in the Flathead National Forest, authorities said. The other rider, whose name was not released, went to get help and was not hurt.
Bears that attack humans are killed if it is found that they displayed predatory behavior, such as stalking the person, or consumed their victim.
In this case, officials said is too soon to say what will be done to the bear if it is found. They are trying to determine if it was a mother with cubs, whether it was protecting a food cache nearby or whether it simply reacted to the surprise appearance of the bikers, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesman Ron Aasheim said.
"One of the things that is key to all this is whether it was a predatory act," Aasheim said. "I don't think there's any sense that this was predatory."