4 hurt in 2 separate bear attacks

POSTED: 04:55 PM MDT Aug 15, 2013    UPDATED: 07:04 PM MDT Aug 15, 2013 
ISLAND PARK, Idaho -

Two separate bear attacks hurt four people Thursday.

Two contractors who were working under the Bureau of Land Management were bitten by a bear Thursday afternoon, the Fremont County Sheriff's office said.

It happened in the Shotgun Valley area of Island Park, just off the Yale-Kilgore Road.

One man was bitten on the hands and the other on the thigh and backside. It was not known what type of bear they encountered.

The two met a Fremont County deputy and ambulance at Elk Creek and were cleared to proceed to Madison Memorial Hospital in Rexburg on their own.

Last month, a wildlife technician studying grizzlies was also bitten in Island Park. He underwent minor surgery.

In another incident, this one in Yellowstone National Park, officials said two men were hurt around noon Thursday.

The men were hiking when they came across a mama bear and her cubs.

Those hikers did have bear spray.

One person was treated at the scene, while the second injured hiker was transported to an area hospital with bite and claw wounds.

Yellowstone authorities said the best defense against bear attacks is to stay a safe distance from bears, use binoculars and carry bear spray when you go hiking.