On Friday, an unidentified woman received non life-threatening injuries after quite literally colliding with a grizzly bear while she was running with friends on a trail in Glacier National Park.

Park Public Information Officer Gina Kerzman provides details of the encounter.

“A Kalispell woman in her 30’s collided with what park officials believe to be a young grizzly bear while she was trail running on Huckleberry Lookout Trail,” said Kerzman. “She was able to walk down the trail with friends and met the rangers just as they arrived at the trailhead to assist. She was able to self-transport herself to the Kalispell Regional Medical Center.

Kerzman described the woman’s injuries.

“She sustained minor injuries that were non life-threatening to her head and arm,” she said. “Apparently, the woman was running the trail with two other people. She was the lead runner when she and the bear collided. The woman and the bear both tumbled together off the trail and then once they separated, the bear took off down the trail.”

Kerzman said visitors should not treat Glacier National Park like a neighborhood running trail, due to the possibility of wildlife encounters around every turn.

“Glacier National Park just wants to remind visitors that trail running is discouraged,” she said. “It is dangerous because runners traveling quickly and quietly through bear habitat run a much higher risk of surprising a grizzly bear at close range. We also encourage people to hike in groups and to have bear spray available and know how to use it.”

Kerzman said park officials did not deem the incident an actual ‘bear attack’, and so did not close the trail or attempt to euthanize the bear.

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