A woman was mauled by a grizzly bear on a private ranch in the Tom Miner Basin area, north of Gardiner and Yellowstone National Park, on Saturday morning, according to a press release from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
The female victim, two companions and a dog were near the carcass of a domestic cow when the incident occurred. It's unknown if the cow was killed by the bear.
When the bear struck the woman, she laid on her stomach to protect her vital organs. She was bitten on her legs and back.
Her companions used bear spray to scare off the bear and stop the attack.
The victim was initially treated for her injuries at the hospital in Livingston. No further information on her condition was available.
"The attack does appear to be defensive so we would not pursue management action against the grizzly," said Andrea Jones, FWP spokeswoman.
This is the second mauling in southwest Montana in a little over a week. On Monday, Sept. 5, an archery hunter was mauled by a grizzly at the south end of the Gravelly Range.
While these incidents were relatively far from each other, both involved bears feeding on carcasses. In each case, bear spray made the grizzly retreat.
"These were different scenarios, but the similarities are worth noting," Jones said. "Especially with carcasses and people running into carcasses, it does emphasize how much potential danger there is."
Jones encouraged hikers and hunters to be on the lookout for bears as they enter their fall feeding frenzy, known as hyperphagia, to build up enough calories to allow them to hibernate through the worst of the winter.
She also said it's important that people do not attract wildlife to their yards with food or water. Not only is feeding wildlife illegal, but prey animals like deer may encourage predators such as mountain lions to investigate.
"You don't want a mountain lion or a bear on your back deck," Jones said.
Last year in Montana, five people were injured in bear attacks and one man was killed when he hit a bear while riding his bicycle in Glacier National Park. Three of the victims were hunters and female bears protecting cubs was a predominant reason for the attacks.
In Wyoming last year two bowhunters were injured by grizzly bears and one shed antler hunter was mauled this spring northwest of Cody.
Since 2010, there have been six human deaths attributed to bears in the Greater Yellowstone Area, four of which were hiking alone.
For more information on surviving a bear attack, log on to FWP's website at: http://fwp.mt.gov/mtoutdoors/HTML/extra/BearAttack.htm.