Wildlife officials and law enforcement say they are continuing to search for a grizzly bear — or bears — that attacked and killed a 38-year-old West Glacier resident on his bicycle Wednesday afternoon near Glacier National Park in Montana.
The victim has been identified as Brad Treat, a career law enforcement officer with the Flathead National Forest, according to KPAX, a television station in Missoula.
Flathead County Sheriff’s deputies and many other agencies have started to clear out the area that leads to the Half Moon Lake area, which is just about a mile south to the West Glacier entrance into Glacier National Park.
MTN News has been told that the vast area just south of Glacier National Park is being cordoned off and authorities are asking visitors and tourists to stay out of the area until the bear is captured.
The attack on the pair of bicyclists took place about a mile up the trail leading to Half Moon Lake, according to Flathead County Undersheriff Dave Lieb.
Authorities have confirmed that a grizzly bear killed Treat, KPAX reported. A search for the animal was continuing Thursday.
People were asked to stay clear of the area.
“At this point and time the Forest Service is closing the entire area from Desert Mountain to Coram, over to West Glacier. So that area is closed until further notice,” Lieb said.
It appears that Treat and his companion surprised the bear on the trail, which may have led to the attack.
The incident is under investigation by the Wildlife Human Attack Response Team of the Montana Department of Fish Wildlife and Parks, the U.S Forest Service and the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office.
“Brad was an integral member of our area law enforcement team and a friend to us all. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family tonight,” Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry said in a statement.