EAST GLACIER PARK - A former National Park Service ranger was attacked and bitten twice by a 200-pound black bear while hiking near the Mount Henry Trail just south of Glacier National Park, officials said Wednesday.
Terry McGrath of East Glacier Park, who had his dog with him when the attack occurred Sunday afternoon, was able to hike three miles through brush to reach help.
The trail, both inside and outside the park, has been closed temporarily.
Dr. Jorge Simental, a director at Blackfeet Community Hospital who eventually treated McGrath, said a resident picked the man up on a road and drove him to the Glacier Park Trading Co.
Simental said he was driving through East Glacier Park to dinner that evening when someone recognized him and flagged him down. "The man was disoriented and bleeding profusely from puncture wounds," the doctor said. He had puncture wounds on each calf.
Simental said he used medical staples he carries in an emergency kit to close the wounds and McGrath was taken by ambulance to the hospital in Browning, where he was treated and released several hours later.
Dan Carney, a wildlife biologist for the Blackfeet Indian Reservation, said the victim was bushwhacking off the trail and saw the bear about 70 to 100 yards away approaching slowly.
"The bear never ran. It just walked up to him," Carney said.
Simental said he believes the presence of the dog might have instigated the attack.
Carney said this was the first bear attack he is aware of this year.