Camper bitten by bear at Montana lake couldn’t call for help. Then a runner came by

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A bear seeking unsecured food bit a person camping at Mystic Lake in Montana on Saturday morning, prompting a helicopter rescue, authorities say.

The bear bit the camper “a couple of hours after dawn” at the lake in the Custer Gallatin National Forest, north of Yellowstone National Park, U.S. Forest Service rangers said.

Unable to make it down the trail from the lake, the injured camper found a runner “who was able to quickly make it to cell service and call 911,” Gallatin County Sheriff Search and Rescue said.

Rescuers and medics began searching for the injured camper, then provided medical care and a helicopter airlift to a Bozeman hospital, sheriff’s officials said.

The person’s injuries were not believed to be life-threatening, rangers said. No bears were seen in the area, and the type of bear involved remains unknown.

Improperly stored food “played a role” in the encounter, the U.S. Forest Service said. Nearby trails were closed overnight and reopened Sunday.

Bears are “active and present” in the region as part of the greater Yellowstone ecosystem, rangers said. They advised visitors to carry bear spray, travel in groups, make “lots of noise” and keep alert for signs of bears.

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