Amber Kornak had been on the job with Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks for just one week when the risks associated with the job bit her–literally.
While on assignment for the department, she had hiked into the remote Cabinet Mountain near Libby, Montana when a bear pounced on her from behind in the Poorman Creek area. In the struggle for her life, she managed to reach her bear spray and discharge the weapon at her assailant. The bear moved off, but she had accidentally sprayed herself in the tumultuous encounter.
Amber suffered sever wounds: two skull fractures, and deep gashes in her head, neck, and back. With no other options, this tough Montana woman stumbled through the thick forest for two miles to reach her work truck and then drove an additional two miles before she found help.
Amber is listed in stable condition following major surgery and has been removed from the intensive care unit at a Kalispell, Montana hospital. She now faces a long, difficult, and expensive recovery. A GoFundMe page has been established to help her with the extensive medical expenses she has incurred. The public is encouraged to make donations.
The bear involved has been neither identified nor captured, but FWP officials are investigating. The Cabinet Mountains are known grizzly bear habitat. Given both the attack’s ferocity and predatory nature (based on the method and wounds sustained), the potential is high a grizzly is the culprit. The attack also points up the fact bear spray is effective in many cases, but it is easy for whomever wields it to spray themselves under certain conditions.
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