Officials said Monday that a Montana backcountry guide died after being mauled by a massive grizzly bear reportedly guarding a nearby moose carcass just outside Yellowstone National Park.
Charles "Carl" Mock, 40, of West Yellowstone, was killed two days after being targeted while fishing alone in a forested area along the Madison River many miles north of West Yellowstone, according to Gallatin County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Christine Koosman.
When the male bear, weighing at least 420 pounds, attacked wildlife workers investigating the assault, he was shot and killed.
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Defending a Moose Carcass
According to Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks spokesman Morgan Jacobsen, the moose carcass was discovered about 50 yards (45 meters) from the attack spot.
Managing to Call 911
Mock, who had extensive scalp and facial wounds, contacted 911 after the assault and was identified after only 50 minutes of searching.
According to the sheriff's office, he was driven to an ambulance by toboggan and snowmobile before being rushed to a hospital in Idaho Falls, where he died.
Who is Mock?
According to the company's Facebook page, Mock worked as a guide for Backcountry Adventure, which offers snowmobile rentals and tours in Yellowstone National Park and surrounding national forest areas.
Following the mauling, a fundraiser campaign set up on Mock's behalf claimed that he was an avid outdoorsman and a well-liked guide for Yellowstone travelers.
When Mock was threatened, he had bear spray, a Mace-like deterrent that he used to shield himself. Bear spray residue was discovered on Mock's clothes, but authorities could not determine how effective it was against the bear.
"He was the only one there, and we never got a chance to speak with him," Jacobsen said.
Death of the Grizzly
The grizzly was killed on Friday after charging a party of seven game wardens and other workers who were approaching the attack site. According to Jacobsen, several people shot at the cat, which died about 20 yards (18 meters) from the party.
Officials believe the bear that was killed was the same one that struck Mock.
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Bears in Yellowstone
More than 700 bears live in the Yellowstone range of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. Human fatalities are uncommon, but they have become more common in recent decades. The grizzly population has grown, and more residents have migrated into rural areas near the bear habitat. Eight people have been killed by grizzlies in the Yellowstone range since 2010, including Mock. Within the park, three people died.
The most recent death occurred in Wyoming in 2018, when a hunting guide and his client were stabbed, with the guide being killed.
Outside of Alaska, grizzly bears have been federally protected as an endangered species since 1975, after widespread extinction by trappers and hunters in the early twentieth century.
Grizzly bear hunting is prohibited. However, legislators from Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming attempt to compel conservation authorities to loosen protections, allowing bears to be hunted.
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