Man Attacked by Grizzly in East Idaho
ISLAND PARK, Idaho (KLIX)-A grizzly bear attacked a hiker at an eastern Idaho state park Friday evening sending him to the hospital in Idaho Falls. According to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game the attack happened at 5:30 May 29, on the Outlet Overlook Trail at Henrys Lake State Park 16 miles west of West Yellowstone.
Officials say 73-year-old Gregory Godar, of West Yellowstone had been walking with his wife when they encountered a sow grizzly and two cubs. Godar was able to walk out on his own and was flown to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls.
Godar told Idaho Fish and Game he couldn't deploy his bear spray that he had strapped to his chest in time before the attack. “If I had one word of advice, it would be to carry your bear spray in your hand and not strapped to your chest,” said Godar in a prepared statement. “I think if I had it in my hand I could have stopped her”. Godar's wife used her bear spray, but the bear was too far to have any effect.
Idaho Fish and Game said they had found an animal carcass in the area the bear may have been feeding on and impressions in the vegetation indicating were the bears had been laying. Conservation officers determined the attack was a surprise and didn't feel the need to track and trap the animal. The Fish and Game recommended the park trails remain closed for about a week.