Thursday, March 30, 2017

Night of the Grizzlies
By Jack Olsen

In the history of Glacier National Park there had never been a fatal bear attack, until the night of August 12th-13th, 1967 when two separate bear maulings happened 9 miles and 4 hours apart. Two unrelated incidents, two young women who didn't know each other, two different bears, the first two humans to die from a bear attack in Glacier.

All on the same night.  

At the time, it was calculated the odds were greater than 1 in a million for a single bear attack but the odds of two separate attacks in a 4 hour time span were beyond measure. This book, while published a few years ago, caught my attention quickly. It is an enthralling read, detailing the whole summer before the attacks and what a lead up to these horrific events.

As someone who has lived in the shadow of Yellowstone Park all of my life this book strikes home with how the relationship between man and grizzly has changed over the last 100 years. Night of the Grizzlies reads like a thriller but every so often while reading you remember this actually happened and you clutch the blanket closer around you and maybe double check the back door before you open it at night.

NOTE: don't read this book if you are about to go hiking and spend the night on the ground in a national park.