Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks say a female grizzly bear attacked and seriously injured a 55-year-old elk hunter over the weekend. Public Information Officer Bruce Auchly has the details.

“A party of hunters Sunday morning, west of Choteau up along the Rocky Mountain Front, had shot at some elk,” said Auchly. “One of the fellows in the party went down into a creek bottom to see if any elk had been hit and apparently he surprised a female grizzly with cubs.”

Auchly says the grizzly defensively charged and mauled the hunter.

“We believe the attack took about 30 seconds and then she left,” Auchly said. “We are not pursuing the bear. She did what a female grizzly probably would have done anywhere. He was taken by private vehicle to the town of Choteau and then transferred by mercy flight to Benefits Hospital in Great Falls.”

FWP cannot release the hunter’s name until the investigation is complete.