Helicopter Airlifts Man Who Was Mauled by a Grizzly Bear in Popular Park

Grizzly Chopper
© through-my-lens from Getty Images and Marco_Bonfanti from Getty Images/ via Canva.com

Written by Patrick MacFarland

Published: May 21, 2024

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On Sunday, May 19, 2024, a 35-year-old man from Massachusetts was seriously mauled by a grizzly bear on Signal Mountain. The mountain and trail are in the western portion of the Grand Teton National Park, located in Wyoming. The man was startled to discover two grizzlies in front of him. There were no details as to how the man came face-to-face with the two grizzly bears. The situation prompted authorities to airlift him by helicopter to a hospital nearby. It also caused park officials to close the trail and road to the overlook on Signal Mountain temporarily on Monday.

Park officials stated that the man would recover from his injuries sustained during the mauling. The National Park Service issued a statement that read, “The Signal Mountain Summit Road and Signal Mountain Trail are currently closed to all public entry” until further notice. Check back to the National Park Service’s page to see if the trail and road are open again.

Where Do Grizzly Bears Live?

Grizzly bears are extremely fast runners.

©John Morrison/iStock / Getty Images Plus via Getty Images

Grizzly bears are some of the biggest mammals roaming certain regions of North America. They inhabit western Canada and the northwestern regions of the United States including Alaska, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, and Washington. They live in several habitats that include forests, mountainous regions, and coastal areas.

Grizzly Bear Population: How Many Are Left in the World?

According to the National Wildlife Foundation, there are approximately 1,500 grizzly bears in the contiguous United States. There are also 31,000 grizzlies in Alaska. Conservation efforts are constantly fighting to ensure grizzly bears do not go extinct, as the population of these creatures has gone down drastically in the past few centuries because of human development and human hunting. Moreover, they are currently listed as a threatened species.

Is It Normal Behavior for Grizzly Bears to Attack Humans?

Seeing a bear during your hike may be uncommon, but if you do find yourself face-to-face with a bear, it is recommended that you stay calm, keep your distance, and don’t startle the bear. The reality of the matter is that grizzly bears do not want to attack humans. Furthermore, they are more solitary creatures that want to be left by themselves. They may act in defense mode, so it’s always best to keep your distance, stay calm, and not make sudden noises or movements.

In the past century, there have only been a few dozen bear attacks in North America. This means it’s not normal and can be quite rare for grizzly bears to attack humans.

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About the Author

Patrick Macfarland is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering travel, geography, and history. Patrick has been writing for more than 10 years. In the past, he has been a teacher and a political candidate. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from SDSU and a Master's Degree in European Union Studies from CIFE. From San Diego, California, Patrick loves to travel and try new recipes to cook.

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