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Park Biologist Wards Off Charging Bear With Spray

Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve

National Park News

Park biologist Craig Murdoch was conducting a fisheries survey on the Bartlett River trail late on the morning of July 27th. While hiking along the shoreline of the river, he heard movement in the grass across the river from him, a distance of about 150 feet. As he turned to see what was making the noise, he saw a full grown brown bear charging towards him. Murdoch yelled at the bear and grabbed for his bear spray, which was in his backpack. The bear continued its charge and got within about 15 feet when Murdoch sprayed him. The bear veered away, continued running into the woods, and did not return for a second pass. The Bartlett River trail is temporarily closed until a full assessment of the area can be conducted.  This is the first documented behavior of this type by brown bears along this river, although they’re in the area fishing for sockeye salmon. The park provides training for all staff who work in the backcountry in the use and deployment of bear spray, including simulation of incidents of this type.



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