Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks game warden Perry Brown prepares to hunt for a grizzly bear that killed Forest Service law enforcement officer Brad Treat near West Glacier, Mont. on Wednesday, June 29, 2016.
The man’s death came whist riding with another rider Wednesday afternoon on a trip in the Half-moon Lakes area of the Flathead National Forest according to a release via Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry.
According to Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry, Mr Treat was ripped from his saddle by the bear while his uninjured friend rode off to find help. He was knocked off his bike and his fellow rider went to look for help. Treat’s body was found at the scene and was carried off by a rescue helicopter.
Treat was a U.S. Forest Service law-enforcement officer.
Before Wednesday, at least six people had been mauled to death by bears in the Northern Rockies since 2010, but all those cases were in the Yellowstone National Park area, which is about 360 miles from Glacier and has at least 700 grizzlies.
Bear attacks in the area are rare.
Dave Hriczak hasn’t been carrying bear spray, but says that’s going to change.
The area where the attack happened has since been closed off for public safety, the Telegraph reports.
Authorities continue to search for the bear. There are an estimated 1,000 in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem, which includes the park. He was from Kalispell, and was an accomplished distance runner in high school. Glacier officials say there are usually one or two non-lethal encounters between bears and humans each year inside the park.
Grizzly bears have been declared a threatened species in 48 states since the 1970s, but the population is increasing, as are the conflicts between humans and bears.