A fisherman and “beloved” park guide has been mauled to death by a grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park.
Officials said the large bear was likely defending the carcass of a moose which was nearby when the incident occurred.
Charles “Carl” Mock died on Saturday and lived within West Yellowstone, in the park’s gateway communites.
He died two days after being attacked by the bear while fishing alone in a wooded area on the Madison River outside north West Yellowstone, according to Christine Koosman, spokesperson for the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office.
The male bear, who weighed 190kg, was shot and killed after the fatal attack, when it charged at wildlife workers investigating the death.
The carcass of the moose was found 45m away, according to a spokesperson for the Wildlife and Parks.
Despite suffering significant wounds to his scalp and face, Carl called 911 after being attacked, and was found by searchers after about 50 minutes.
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Carl was transported with a toboggan and snowmobile to an ambulance, and on to a hospital in the city of Idaho Falls, where he died, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
A GoFundMe set up to cover Carl’s family’s medical costs and funeral expenses said he’d undergone two successful surgeries before he died of a massive stroke.
He had worked at Backcountry Adventure as a guide, a company which provides snowmobile rentals and tours in Yellowstone National Park and surrounding areas.
A Facebook post from Carl’s colleagues at Yellowstone Tour Guides said they worked with him in the winter, and called him an “avid outdoorsman, guide in Yellowstone, (who) lived life to the fullest.
“He is proof you can do everything right in bear country and still have an incident.”
Carl had been carrying bear repellent spray during the attack, and traces of it were detected on his clothing. Officials said they couldn’t determine if it was used on the bear.
Keith Johnson, the organiser of the GoFundMe, called Carl a “beloved guide to countless visitors in Yellowstone”.
The fundraiser has already raised more than US $30,000.