A bear attack near Yellowstone National Park has left one man dead and two others injured. The attack occured around dawn on Wednesday, as at least one bear smashed through tents at Montana’s Soda Butte campground.
Among the injured was a female who suffered severe lacerations on her arms, and another male who was bitten on his calf. Both were hospitalized in Cody, WY.
Wildlife officials are currently investigating the attack and haven’t announced the identities or ages of the victims.
“We don’t know if it was one bear, two bears, a black bear or grizzly bear,” Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesman Ron Aasheim said. “Obviously, the bear’s gone now. Will it come back tonight? That’s the question.”
Authorities evacuated the campground shortly after the attack was reported at 6 a.m., sending campers to seek shelter at nearby hotels.
The Soda Butte campground offers 27 camp sites in the Gallatin National Forest, which is located near the northeastern entrance of Yellowstone National Park.
“It is a populated area for bears, not just grizzly bears but black bears,” Gallatin National Forest spokeswoman Marna Daley said.
Authorities have now closed Soda Butte campground along with two others, and may announce more closings depending on the outcome of the investigation.
The same campground saw a 2008 bear attack in which a grizzly bear bit and injured a man sleeping in a tent. The responsible young female grizzly was later captured and transported to a bear research center at Washington State University in Pullman.