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Grizzly bear with cub charges at man running on Idaho trail, officials say

FILE - This June 20, 2014 file photo taken by an automatic trail camera provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shows an adult female grizzly bear in the Cabinet Mountains in northwest Montana near Canada. A federal judge ruled Monday, Aug. 21, 2017 that the small population of grizzly bears in Montana and Idaho near the Canadian border can be considered endangered even if they are not on the brink of extinction. U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen’s order reversed the 2014 re-classification by U.S. wildlife officials for 40 to 50 bears of the Cabinet-Yaak bear population under the federal Endangered Species Act. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via AP, File)

FILE – This June 20, 2014 file photo taken by an automatic trail camera provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service shows an adult female grizzly bear in the Cabinet Mountains in northwest Montana near Canada. A federal judge ruled Monday, Aug. 21, 2017 that the small population of grizzly bears in Montana and Idaho near the Canadian border can be considered endangered even if they are not on the brink of extinction. U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen’s order reversed the 2014 re-classification by U.S. wildlife officials for 40 to 50 bears of the Cabinet-Yaak bear population under the federal Endangered Species Act. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via AP, File)

AP

A man was running on a trail in East Idaho when he came face-to-face with a grizzly and her cub, officials said.

The grizzly charged the man running Friday near Island Park in the Kilgore area, Idaho Fish and Game said.

When the grizzly attacked the man, he laid down on the ground to protect himself. The grizzly then struck the man several times and ran away.

“The man was injured in the attack, but able to return to the cabin he was staying in and call 911,” officials said in a news release. “His injuries were not life threatening.”

Officials closed the area and are investigating the incident. The man, whose name was not released, sought medical care at Madison Memorial Hospital in Rexburg. The runner’s exact injuries were not disclosed.

Playing dead usually isn’t the way to stay safe during a bear attack, according to wildlife experts.

People who come face-to-face with a bear shouldn’t make sudden movements or lay down, the National Park Service said. Running away can trigger a bear’s instincts to chase. Climbing a tree also isn’t a good idea because bears can climb quickly.

The best thing to do is walk away slowly and put distance between yourself and the bear, draw bear spray and prepare to use it.

A bear will typically show you signs that you’re invading its space, but hikers and campers need to know what to do from there.

“If a bear clacks its teeth, sticks out its lips, huffs, woofs, or slaps the ground with its paws, it is warning you that you are too close and are making it nervous,” the National Park Service said. “The bear’s nervous? Heed this warning and slowly back away.”

There have been several grizzly bear attacks so far this year. On Tuesday, a California woman was pulled from her tent and killed during a grizzly attack in Montana.

In Yellowstone, a grizzly charged a ranger on the same day a hiker was seriously injured by a grizzly. The hiker came face-to-face with two bears while walking alone on a trail. It was the first time this year a bear injured someone within the park, Yellowstone officials said.

Earlier in May, a grizzly ran toward a woman who was standing within feet of the bear and appeared to be taking photos or videos with her phone. Park officials are investigating the incident.

Maddie Capron is a McClatchy Real-Time News Reporter focused on the outdoors and wildlife in the western U.S. She graduated from Ohio University and previously worked at CNN, the Idaho Statesman and Ohio Center for Investigative Journalism.

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