Experienced hiker injured in 'sudden' grizzly bear attack

Grizzly bear in open grassland
(Image credit: Getty)

A hiker in Wyoming has been hospitalized after being attacked by a grizzly bear. The man was an experienced hiker who'd travelled from out of state to explore Francs Peak, the highest summit in Park County.

The hiker had reached a high elevation, when he encountered the bear suddenly at close range, and was unable to use his bear spray in time.

In a press statement, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) said the man was flown by helicopter to a hospital in Billings, Montana, for treatment.

While many states seek to trap and euthanize bears after attacks on humans, WGFD doesn't intend to take immediate action. "Game and Fish plans no management action at this time," it said. "Game and Fish will continue to monitor bear activity in the area and will make management decisions in the best interest of public safety."

Bear encounters are on the rise as the animals become bolder in their search for food after hibernation, but generally they prefer to keep their distance from humans. If you do have a close encounter with a grizzly bear, the best course of action is to leave your backpack on and play dead by lying on your stomach with your arms protecting the back of your neck. Spread your arms and legs to make it difficult for the bear to turn you over, and stay still until the bear leaves the area.

For more advice on how to avoid and handle bear encounters, see our guide what to do if you meet a bear.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.