Grizzly charges at hunters in thick brush, Idaho officials say. Then it’s shot dead

A large grizzly bear charged at two hunters in thick brush and was shot dead, officials in Idaho said.

The two were hunting for elk on Sept. 1 when a male grizzly appeared from a close distance and charged at them near Island Park Reservoir, Idaho Fish and Game said.

They both shot the animal with their handguns, killing it before it injured them, officials said in the Sept. 5 news release.

Wildlife officials investigated the incident and determined the hunters shot the bear in self-defense.

Grizzly bears were listed as a threatened species by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 1975 in the lower 48 states.

They are protected at a state and federal level, making it illegal to “harm, harass, or kill grizzly bears, except in cases of self defense or the defense of others.”

What to do if you see a bear

Bear attacks in the U.S. are rare, according to the National Park Service. In most attacks, bears are trying to defend their food, cubs or space.

There are steps people can take to help prevent a bear encounter from becoming a bear attack.

  • Identify yourself: Talk calmly and slowly wave your arms. This can help the bear realize you’re a human and nonthreatening.

  • Stay calm: Bears usually don’t want to attack; they want to be left alone. Talk slowly and with a low voice to the bear.

  • Don’t scream: Screaming could trigger an attack.

  • Pick up small children: Don’t let kids run away from the bear. It could think they’re small prey.

  • Hike in groups: A group is noisier and smellier, the National Park Service said. Bears like to keep their distance from groups of people.

  • Make yourself look big: Move to higher ground and stand tall. Don’t make any sudden movements.

  • Don’t drop your bag: A bag on your back can keep a bear from accessing food, and it can provide protection.

  • Walk away slowly: Move sideways so you appear less threatening to the bear. This also lets you keep an eye out.

  • Again, don’t run: Bears will chase you, just like a dog would.

  • Don’t climb trees: Grizzlies and black bears can also climb.

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