WEST YELLOWSTONE, Mont. (KIFI) - UPDATED 4/17: The man injured in a bear attack Thursday died Saturday morning, according to the GoFundMe set up for him.
The update reads: "We would like to let you know that early this morning Carl suffered a massive stroke and sadly, he didn’t make it through. This comes as a terrible shock and is heartbreaking to everyone, since both the surgeries went so well. We will keep you updated with the service information as the plans are made. All of the money that is being donated on this page and in the cans throughout town will be given to the family to help cover the medical bills and funeral costs. We appreciate the continued support from this community to help ease these financial burdens for Carl’s family."
A hiker is being treated at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center after an encounter with a grizzly bear near West Yellowstone, Montana.
Local News 8's Bre Clark confirmed that the hiker was Carl Mock of West Yellowstone after speaking with his sisters Lindsay Russell and Tiffany Cook.
"He's currently in surgery. They're fixing the orbit around his eye and fixing his maimed hand," said Cook.
Mock will need to undergo numerous surgeries over the next week with a very long recovery ahead.
The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office was called to the Baker’s Hole area at around 3:42 p.m. Thursday on report of a grizzly bear attack. The Forest Service, West Yellowstone Police, and Hebgen Basin Fire and EMS also responded.
Rescue teams were able to locate the injured person after about 50 minutes of off-trail searching.
Authorities say the bear attack left him with severe injuries to the left side of his face, head and neck. Judging from his injuries, they said Mock seems to have used the proper fetal position to keep the bear from killing him, but a the bear still managed to bite out a chunk of his skull.
"I want people to know that Carl wasn't out there… he wasn't out there making stupid choices and like chasing after animals. He's very aware of rules and guidelines," Cook said.
"He's very respectful of wildlife and someone that recreates very professionally," Russell said.
Mock's sisters said he has a passion for outdoors, hiking, fishing, photography, and is a beloved guide to countless visitors in Yellowstone. They said he is a big believer in "catch and release" and even wanted to pursue a career as a park ranger. They believe his experience in the wilderness is what saved his life.
"For this to happen to someone who was so well versed in these type of activities it is scary," Russell said. "It truly makes you aware that this could happen to anyone at anytime because he knows more than most."
Montana Fish and Wildlife confirmed on their Facebook page that a grizzly bear was shot and killed late Friday while Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks staff investigated the scene of the bear attack.
The U.S. Forest Service issued an emergency public-safety closure in the area Thursday afternoon. The closure remains in effect.