Body of missing Montana man found after 'encounter with a grizzly,' officials say

The body of a Montana man, who appears to have died after being attacked by a grizzly bear, has been found by search and rescue teams.

Craig Clouatre, 40, of Livingston, was hiking in the Six Mile Creek area of the Absaroka Mountains, north of Yellowstone National Park, in Montana when he went missing. Officials began searching for Clouatre on Wednesday.

In addition to a ground team, search and rescue teams rode on horseback and in helicopters looking for the hiker.

Clouatre and a friend had been hiking, when they separated. When the friend returned to the car and saw Clouatre was not there, he called the police, according Livingston Enterprise.

“It is with a very heavy heart that I am writing this update. After an extensive search this morning we have located Craig. It appears he had an encounter with a grizzly and unfortunately did not survive,” Park County Sheriff Brad Bichler said in a statement posted to Facebook on Friday.

Bichler said officers were working to bring Clouatre’s body home.

On Sunday, Bichler posted an update, thanking people for the outpouring of support, and reminding them to be respectful on social media.

“Let me open by saying the out pouring of love and support that has been shown to Craig Clouatre and his family over the last few days has been remarkable and to be honest I am not surprised,” he wrote. “This community is one that consistently rallies together to help one another in times of need and struggle.”

Bichler said that he met with Clouatre’s wife, and that Clouatre’s family understood the dangers of venturing into the wild.

“I visited with Craig’s wife this morning and she has reiterated to me that she and the family understand that Craig loved to be in wild places and was well aware of the risks involved with that,” Bichler wrote.

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