A participant in a permitted running event at Valles Caldera National Preserve in New Mexico was attacked by a female American black bear on Saturday when the individual came upon the bear’s cubs along a backcountry road being used as the event route.
The incident occurred in the southwest corner of the preserve, known as Banco Bonito, approximately seven miles away from the Valle Grande. The runner was part of a marathon event being conducted on the preserve under a special use permit. The individual was found by another runner, and aid was dispatched to their location. The injured runner was evacuated by medical helicopter and taken to the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque for treatment, and is expected to recover from the injuries.
“Our deepest thoughts and sympathies are with the individual during their recovery from the injuries,” Superintendent Jorge Silva-Bañuelos said in a release.
Pursuant to New Mexico State law, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish dispatched officers to the area to conduct an investigation and attempt to locate the bear and euthanize it in order to test for rabies.