JACKSON, Wyo. (AP) -- A number of bear attacks and encounters in recent weeks has prompted warnings from wildlife officials that such incidents will become more frequent as bears ready for hibernation.
''Bears will be looking for food sources in subdivisions, in campgrounds,'' said Steve Cain, senior wildlife biologist for Grand Teton National Park. ''Our biggest emphasis is on keeping food stored.''
Four bear attacks have been reported in northwest Wyoming in recent weeks, all of them resulting in injury.
The most recent happened Monday, when two hikers surprised a bear walking with her three cubs in Yellowstone National Park. The bear mauled one of the hikers but retreated after the man's companion sprayed pepper spray in the bear's face.
Over Labor Day weekend, an Indiana man was injured when a bear swatted him in the face, chest and arms while he was eating lunch at a hunting camp in the Bridger-Teton National Forest. Another man was bitten while sleeping in his tent at Yellowstone.
An Ohio activist is recovering after his face was gouged Aug. 28 by the teeth of an enraged mother grizzly bear.
Jesshua Amun was one of a group of four people tracking buffalo just west of Yellowstone when he saw the bear and her two cubs.
''She came out of nowhere and attacked me,'' Amun said. ''The bear saw me and she charged. She came out of the bushes.''
It took more than 300 stitches to repair Amun's face. One knee is swollen with infection.
Though traumatized by the attack, Amun planned to return to the area. He reminded outdoors enthusiasts that they're taking a risk venturing into the backcountry, especially this time of year.
''The bears shouldn't be punished for who they are,'' Amun said. ''We all share the same woods.''
Amun was identified Thursday as Jeffrey Scheu, 36, who is charged in Ohio with multiple counts of failing to pay child support. He was arrested in a hospital in Idaho Falls, Idaho.
This year's poor whitebark pine crop has helped, sending bears to lower elevations to look for food as they prepare for winter, said Jackie Skaggs, a spokeswoman for Grand Teton National Park.
''There will probably be more human-bear encounters'' because the bears are ''desperately seeking food sources,'' she said.
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