A park visitor was bitten by a bear while sleeping in his tent at a designated backcountry campsite on the Sportsman Lake Trail in the northwest section of the park on the evening of Friday, August 30th. Mike Barbic of Plano, Texas, had a two-day backcountry permit and was staying his first night at his assigned campsite when the incident occurred. He had set up camp and retired for the evening when he was awakened by the bear biting him through the tent, ripping a hole through it. Barbic screamed, frightening the bear away. Because Barbic did not actually see the bear, it's not known whether it was a black or grizzly bear. Barbic laid quite still for roughly an hour, listening for bear activity, before exiting the tent. He then put his partially collapsed tent back up and spent the remainder of the night there. At one point during the night, he heard scratching noises near the tree where he had hung his food. At daybreak, Barbic packed up his camp and hiked to the Glen Creek Trailhead where his vehicle was parked. He then drove to Mammoth Hot Springs and reported the incident to rangers. Barbic received a puncture wound and a one-inch laceration to the right side of his buttocks. He was treated and released from the Mammoth Hot Springs Clinic. Strong bear warnings have been posted along the Sportsman Lake Trail and overnight camping has been prohibited in this area. [Public Affairs, YELL]
A Massachusetts veterinarian [John Crosson, 43] was mauled by a mother grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park's backcountry Monday and he credits his friend with saving his life.
Wygant, helped his injured friend hike three miles through swamps and thick downfall, built him a shelter for the night and found help the next morning.
The two started their backcountry trip Sunday when a boat left them at the mouth of Columbine Creek. They hiked south three miles that day and set up camp on the east shore of Lake Yellowstone's southeast arm. They planned to spend four nights in the area.
Monday morning they hiked about three miles, following an intermittent stream called Brimstone Creek. At about 10:30 a.m., on a hilltop overlooking Brimstone and Columbine creeks, all hell broke loose.
Crosson had moved about a dozen feet away from his friend to urinate when an ominous sound came from the deep timber.
"I heard a rush in the woods and I immediately saw a grizzly bear," he said in a telephone interview. "She was running full tilt. I yelled, 'We've got a griz. She's got cubs. She's coming fast. Don't run. Hit the deck.'"
However, he didn't follow his own advice very well.
The bear, accompanied by three cubs, sunk her teeth into Crosson's left calf and started shaking. Though she couldn't lift the 220-pound man off the ground, she tore up his leg and broke his fibia.
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