On Wednesday afternoon, a grizzly bear attacked and killed a mountain bicyclist near West Glacier.
According to Sheriff Chuck Curry, the victim was a 38-year-old career law-enforcement officer with the U.S. Forest Service named Brad Treat, who died when the bear attacked him.
Treat was riding his mountain bike on a forested trail in the Halfmoon Lakes area, south of Glacier National Park, said Flathead Beacon.
A search for the bear ensued on Wednesday evening by a small group of armed officers. The animal had not been located as of 9 p.m.
While the investigation continued, law enforcement authorities have cordoned off the area around Halfmoon Lakes.
It was reported by Curry that on Wednesday, Treat and another man were mountain biking on U.S. Forest Service land near Halfmoon Lakes. The early investigation suggested that the two bikers dazzled the bear around 2 p.m. Moments after this, Treat was thrown off his bike by the bear. However, the second biker was able to escape uninjured and call for help.
According to Daily Inter Lake, Treat was pronounced dead at the scene. “It appears they likely surprised the bear and Treat was taken off his bike by the bear,” Curry said. “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.”
Treat’s former running coach, Paul Jorgensen, said that Treat was an exceptionally good runner, and he was also a “kind-hearted person who cared about people.”
Jorgensen said that Treat’s death is a grave loss for the entire Flathead Valley, the running community, and the Flathead High School community.
Treat was a Kalispell native. He became one of Montana’s best distance runners and also formed the long-distance dynasty at Flathead High School in the mid-90s. He has been loved for all-state accomplishments and tireless dedication.
The campground guests have all been briefed regarding the incident, said the staff at the nearby West Glacier KOA along Halfmoon Flat.
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