No evidence of bear attack near Eureka

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Law enforcement authorities, including Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, responded to a report of a possible bear attack near Eureka on Monday morning but did not find any evidence of an attack or identify any injured individuals.

At approximately 8 a.m. a witness reported hearing what they thought was someone yelling for help on Rails to Trails between Eureka and Rexford. Multiple officers responded, including sheriff’s deputies, U.S. Border Patrol agents, a U.S. Forest Service agent, a Montana Highway Patrol trooper and the local Fish, Wildlife and Parks game warden.

A search of the area resulted in no evidence of a bear attack. Officials were unable to locate any injured individuals. Officers did see four different bears in separate family groups in the area and the cubs were very vocal, which may have been what the witness originally heard.

Authorities have no reason to believe that there was a human-bear encounter or that anyone was injured. Rumors of the possible attack are spreading on social media and elsewhere, prompting this news release, which is intended to dispel any inaccurate information.

Montana is bear country with abundant populations of grizzlies and black bears. Residents are asked to remove or secure food attractants such as garbage and bird feeders and bird seed. Chicken and livestock should be properly secured with electric fencing or inside a closed shed with a door. Recreationists are urged to be “Bear Aware” and follow precautionary steps and tips to prevent conflicts.

More safety information is available on the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks website, fwp.mt.gov. Residents can call the Northwest Montana regional office at 406-752-5501 to learn more about bears or to report bear activity.

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