A backcountry guide has died of injuries caused by a grizzly bear near Yellowstone National Park in Montana, officials say.
Charles “Carl” Mock, 40, was mauled last Thursday and ultimately died of his injuries on Saturday, the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department said in a statement.
Mock was fishing alone to the west of the park when the grizzly attacked on Thursday, in what officials suspect was an attempt to protect a nearby moose carcass.
“The man had bear spray with him, but it’s unclear whether he was able to deploy it during the attack,” official said.
Mock suffered significant scalp and facial wounds during the attack, but he still managed to call 911 and hang on for 50 minutes until searchers could find him. He was eventually taken out of the forest by toboggan and snowmobile, then rushed to a hospital in Idaho Falls.
Doctors performed two surgeries on Mock in an effort to save him, his employer Backcountry Adventures said, but he suffered a stroke in the hospital and died on Saturday.
“This comes as a terrible shock and is heartbreaking to all us,” the company wrote on Facebook.
A GoFundMe page raised US$32,000 to cover medical expenses prior to his death.
Seven investigators went back to the scene of the attack on Friday and made noise in hopes of driving the bear away. Instead, the bear confronted them and charged, forcing them to shoot it.
They ultimately killed the bear and later identified it as a 420-pound male specimen. Investigators also found a moose carcass about 50 yards from the spot where Mock was attacked.
The National Parks Service has recorded 44 grizzly bear-related injuries at Yellowstone National Park since 1979.
Grizzly bears are listed as a threatened species in the United States.
—With files from The Associated Press