Man mauled by grizzly bear in ‘surprise encounter’ at Grand Teton National Park

File photo of a grizzly bear in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. A 35-year-old man was mauled by a grizzly in the Wyoming park during a 'surprise encounter,' park officials said. File/Getty Images/Chaz Noles

A 35-year-old man from Massachusetts was seriously injured by a grizzly bear in Grand Teton National Park, prompting officials to close public access to areas near the attack.

The man was not identified by park officials, but he is expected to make a full recovery from his injuries.

The attack happened Sunday afternoon, while the man was hiking on Signal Mountain in the Wyoming National Park. According to a preliminary investigation involving rangers and park biologists, authorities believe the man was ambushed by two grizzlies, and one of the bears lunged at him.

“(T)he incident was a surprise encounter with two grizzly bears, with one of the bears contacting and injuring the visitor,” the National Park Service writes.

Park rangers and search and rescue workers located the injured man and treated him at the scene before he was airlifted to an awaiting ambulance. He was in stable condition at St. John’s Hospital in Jackson, Wyoming as of Monday.

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No other details about the attack or the nature of his injuries were provided.

All of Signal Mountain is closed to the public until further notice due to the bear attack. Other large areas in the park are also closed due to bear activity, including Pilgrim Creek and Colter Bay Dump Road, which have been restricted since April 9.

This mauling in Wyoming comes just three days after a 36-year-old B.C. hunter was attacked by a grizzly bear and suffered broken bones and lacerations. He is also in stable condition.

“The man was able to defend himself with his firearm and the bear ran off,” police said of the attack near Elkwood, B.C.

Conservation officers later found the bear dead near the scene of the attack around 9 p.m.

Click to play video: 'Father and son tracking bear in B.C. attacked by grizzly'
Father and son tracking bear in B.C. attacked by grizzly

According to a Grand Teton National Park news release on bear safety, the first bear sighting in the park was on March 26 and “all of Teton County is now in occupied grizzly bear habitat.”

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“Adult male grizzly bears typically emerge from hibernation in March, while females with young typically appear between April and early May,” park officials write. Visitors to national parks in bear country are urged to always keep at least 90 metres of distance from a bear, respect wildlife closure areas and never leave food unattended.

“Once a bear becomes conditioned to human foods, the bear is likely to exhibit increasingly bold behavior, which increases risks to the bear and humans and limits management options,” officials write.

Parkgoers should also stay in groups, make noise while hiking and carry bear spray. If you encounter a bear, do not run, officials urge. Instead, back away slowly.

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