Idaho Elk Hunter Attacked by Bear Near Yellowstone Park

A 40-year-old man and his hunting partner were bowhunting elk near Yellowstone Park when they startled a bear that attacked them. One man suffered a broken arm and other non-life threatening injuries, unlike the Montana hunter, who was killed last week.

From this story on msnbc.com:_
The bear charged at the hunter, who was nearer the animal than his partner. The partner used a bear spray canister, which shoots an aerosol mixture of hot pepper, as the animal retreated._

__

_Idaho conservation officers said early indications suggested the bear was a grizzly but they were awaiting confirmation from DNA evidence gathered from the scene.
_

__

Wildlife officials decided not to capture the animal, based on the description of the attack provided by the hunters, both from Island Park, and an investigation of the scene.

__

"It's very clear from the incident that the bear was surprised and ran away. It did not intend to kill or consume the men," said Losinski, who is a member of a federal-state task force on grizzly bears.

__

Thousands of black bears roam Idaho but their out-sized, hump-shouldered grizzly cousins are fewer in number. There are about 600 grizzlies in the greater Yellowstone area, which spans parts of Wyoming, Idaho and Montana.

__

Grizzly attacks on humans are rare in the Northern Rockies, where the vast majority of conflicts between people and bears involve damage to property -- from trash cans to livestock -- by the bruins.

__

Even so, the number of deadly grizzly encounters in the region so far in 2011 is higher than the average of one every two years, government figures show."