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Human, bear conflicts on the rise in Northern Rockies

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HELENA (AP) – Grizzly bears have rebounded from widespread extermination across the Northern Rockies over the past several decades. But conflicts with humans have been on the rise, and the death of a Montana man June 29 brings to at least seven the number of people fatally mauled by bears in the region since 2010.

An estimated 1,000 grizzlies live in and around Glacier National Park, and at least 700 in and around Yellowstone National Park. The last time a bear killed someone in Glacier was 1998, when three bears killed and partially ate a park vendor employee while he was hiking.

Here’s a look at recent fatal bear attacks in the Northern Rockies:

June 17, 2010 – Erwin Evert, 70, a field botanist from Park Ridge, Illinois, is killed by a male grizzly bear in Wyoming, about 7 miles east of Yellowstone National Park. Researchers had recently captured and released the bear.

July 28, 2010 – Kevin Kammer, 48, of Grand Rapids, Michigan, is killed when a female grizzly with three cubs pulls him from his tent in the middle of the night at the Soda Butte Campground where Kammer was sleeping alone near Cooke City, Montana. Two others in the campground were injured in separate attacks.

July 7, 2011 – Brian Matayoshi, 57, of Torrance, California, is killed after attempting to run from a female grizzly that he and his wife encountered while hiking the Wapiti Lake Trail in Yellowstone National Park.

August, 2011 – John Wallace, 59, of Chassell, Michigan, is killed by a grizzly while hiking alone on the Mary Mountain Trail in Yellowstone National Park. A female grizzly is later captured and killed after DNA evidence links it to the deaths of both Matayoshi and Wallace.

Sept. 4, 2014 – Adam Stewart, 31, of Virgin, Utah, is killed by a bear while alone conducting research for an ecological consulting firm in northwest Wyoming’s Bridger-Teton National Forest. Authorities are unable to say conclusively whether a black bear or grizzly bear was responsible.

Aug. 7, 2015 – Lance Crosby, 48, of Billings, Montana, is killed by a female grizzly with cub while hiking alone and off-trail near the Elephant Back Loop Trail in Yellowstone National Park. The female grizzly was later killed.

June 29, 2016 – Brad Treat, 38, of West Glacier, Montana, is killed by a grizzly while mountain biking with a friend just east of Glacier National Park.

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