Press Release

Hiker and dogs injured by bear near Priest Lake

Contact:  Phil Cooper, 208-818-1844

A 60-year old woman and her dogs were attacked and injured by a bear shortly after 9 am PDT, Tuesday July 4 near Priest Lake in Bonner County, Idaho.

The attack occurred on the Chipmunk Rapids trail near the Priest Lake Visitors Center on the southwest corner of the lake.

The victim told authorities she and her dogs encountered what appeared to be a large black bear while walking on the trail.

The bear charged and knocked her down, biting and clawing her on the head, on her side and in the abdomen. The dogs were also injured.

The victim was able to use her phone to call her relatives staying at a nearby cabin. When they arrived approximately thirty minutes later, the bear was still at the scene and they had to swing a dog leash and yell at the bear to get it to leave.

Life Flight helicopter was dispatched and took the victim to Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane for treatment. None of her injuries appear to be life-threatening. The dogs were treated by a local veterinarian and will recover.

Authorities closed the trails around the Priest Lake Visitors Center. The Bonner County Sheriff’s Department, the Idaho State Police, the U.S. Forest Service and Idaho Fish and Game are investigating the incident. Area houndsmen along with about a dozen dogs have also been enlisted to help track and locate the bear.