Two hikers injured after surprising grizzly bear in Montana wilderness, officials say

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Two hikers were injured after happening upon a bear near Ennis in Montana, according to authorities.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks said that two men were hiking Tuesday night with a dog off the established trail in the Bear Creek area and stumbled on a grizzly bear with her cubs. The hikers were injured by the bear but escaped after using bear spray, offficials said.

The hikers were treated for “relatively minor injuries,” according to the release.

“Sows with cubs can be especially defensive in close encounters with people. It’s likely this attack was defensive in nature,” the release states.

A warden from the agency and law enforcement from U.S. Forest Service investigated the incident Wednesday and the nearby trail has been temporarily closed. Signs warning visitors about the bear have also been posted at other trails.

The agency advises people to be on the lookout for bear signs and be aware of surroundings, read signs and stay on trails, carry bear spray, travel in groups, follow orders on food storage and stay away from animal carcasses. In the case of encountering a bear, leave the area when it’s safe and don’t approach the animals.