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from The Calgary Herald


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    Canmore Cyclist Mauled by Bear
[and a bear attack in Montana]
by Emma Poole, Calgary Herald

Tuesday, August 15, 2000

A man cycling along a trail in Canmore was mauled by a bear Monday night, in an area where there have been several bear sightings this summer.

Glenn Maylor, spokesman for the Kananaskis Country Conservation officers, said the man's friend frantically ran for help at the nearby Canmore Nordic Centre after the mauling.

Maylor said the men were biking near the centre at about 6:30 p.m. when the attack occurred. The injured man was taken to Canmore Hospital and later transferred to Banff Hospital were he is listed in stable condition.

A mauling also occurred in Montana's Glacier National Park Monday morning when a hiker and a companion surprised an adult bear.

Maylor was unsure whether the men hiking in Canmore stumbled into the path of the bear or if the animal attacked them from the side. Conservation officers have been unable to determine the kind of bear involved in the mauling. Black bears and grizzlies are known to live in the area.

Maylor said the trails are lined with warnings signs. He said there have been "tons" of bear sightings this summer in the area and at the same spot where the biker was mauled.

"Bear sightings in this area are quite frequent," he said.

Officers quickly shut down the trails surrounding the popular hiking and biking centre and scoured the area for the bear. They were forced to stop the search when it got dark but hunted again early this morning.

"We are asking people not to come out here for the next few days or until we find the bear," Maylor said.

The centre, about 80 kilometres west of Calgary, was designed and developed for the 1988 Winter Olympic Games. There are more than 60 kilometres of trails in and around the centre for cross-country bikers and hikers.

Early Monday morning during a routine patrol of the Swiftcurrent Pass Trail, Montana park rangers found Kelly Krpata, 26, of Carmel, Calif., with cuts and puncture wounds to his thighs and hips, said park spokeswoman Amy Vanderbilt.

The attack occurred in the northeast corner of the park close to the Alberta-Montana border.

Vanderbilt said Krpata's partner was uninjured after she dropped to the ground and curled up in the bushes.

She said the brown bear charged the hikers from about 45 metres away.

Krpata was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Vanderbilt said the species of the bear has yet to be determined.

The two bear attacks come a little more than a month after biathlete Mary Beth Miller, 24, was killed after being mauled by a bear while running along a trail in Valcartier, Que.

Searchers found her body with a bear bite on her neck and bear tracks nearby.

Copyright © 2000 Calgary Herald New Media

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