Park County Sheriff's Office, WY respond to three rescues in one - KULR8.com | News, Weather & Sports in Billings, Montana

Park County Sheriff's Office, WY respond to three rescues in one day

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BILLINGS, Mont. -

According to the Park County Sheriff's Office Facebook page, Sheriff's dispatch responded to the report of a backpacker who'd been mauled by a grizzly bear in the area of Granite Lake Sunday.

The Park County Search and Rescue in Wyoming responded to three separate emergencies over a span of 6 hours.

At around 3:42 p.m. Sunday, a female reported that while hiking the Muddy Creek Trail, she came upon two frantic backpackers that reported their companion had been mauled by a grizzly bear two hours earlier in the Granite Lake area.

Lance Mathess is the Search and Rescue coordinator in Park County, Wyoming and said the man was backpacking with three other gentlemen, all of whom were from Minnesota.

"The gentleman who was attacked was hiking ahead of his friends and the attack came so quickly," Mathess said. "He had bear spray, but the attack came so quickly that he didn't have a chance to use it."

Mathess said there were two bears and he suspects it was a female bear with a yearling cub. He said he was told both bears were almost the same size. Wyoming Fish and Game have not confirmed whether it was a grizzly or a black bear.

"He had significant injuries to his shoulder," Mathess said. "His arm and back area was clawed and he had bite marks on his buttocks."

Mathess said the man was taken to St. Vincent Healthcare by life flight. He said this rescue took about seven hours to complete.  He also said there's no greater concern of bear attacks than there has been in the past.

Hours before the bear attack, Park County Search and Rescue responded to Shoshone Lodge for reports of a lone hiker near the summit of Crow Peak whose foot had become pinned beneath a boulder.

"He decided to hike alone, but when he left the Lodge at the base of the mountain, they talked him into taking a radio with him."

The third and final incident happened around 6:25 p.m. when a female hiker was hiking with her husband and became separated and went missing.

"She was out in the wilderness for about three and a half hours," Mathess said. "She said she climbed up to the highest point she can see, just to get her bearings, and she was able to see this little development where the grocery store is and hiked back down. Fortunately, for all concerns, she was okay."

Mathess said Park County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue, Guardian Flight helicopter, Tip Top Search and Rescue, and Wyoming Fish and Game division all helped with these rescues.

"We have no control over the calls that come in to our Search and Rescue and all of our people are volunteers and I can't say enough about them," Mathess said.

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