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Grizzly bear wildlife technician continuing to recover from bear attack

Posted at 5:49 PM, May 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-20 19:49:31-04

(GREAT FALLS) A fundraising account has been created to help Amber Kornakthe woman who was attacked by a bear south of Libby several days ago.

Kornak sustained serious injuries in the attack that happened on Thursday in a remote area of the Cabinet Mountains.

Authorities have not yet determined whether it was grizzly bear or a black bear.

Jenna Hemer, a friend of Amber’s who created a fundraising account to help, told MTN News: “It’s really a testament to the kind of person she is. She is so strong and so loving and so compassionate in everything she does. I think everybody feels that way, whether they’ve known her for years or known her for five minutes—it’s pretty evident that she is a strong woman and would do anything for anybody.”

The GoFundMe page states, in part:

Please keep our dear Amber Kornak and her family in your thoughts and prayers. As those who know her may know, it has been Amber’s dream to work with grizzly bears. She recently accepted a seasonal position in Libby, Montana for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as a Grizzly Bear Wildlife Technician.  

On the morning of Thursday, May 17th, 2018, while  working alone remotely in the Cabinet Mountains south of Libby, MT she was mauled by a bear, suffering 2 skull fractures as well as severe lacerations to her head, neck, and back. As the bear attacked her from behind she was able to reach her bear spray and spray the deterrent to ward off the bear, and also spraying herself. Amber’s wildlife training skills kicked in, and she somehow managed to stay calm and hike 2 miles from the site of the attack to her work vehicle where she then drove to find help.

She endured 4 grueling hours of surgery to remove bone fragments and clean wounds to her brain. Metal plates and screws were placed on her skull and drains were placed in her brain to relieve brain swelling and drain fluid. Her condition is now stable, and she is recovering in the ICU where they can keep her comfortable with pain medications and monitor her for seizures (from the brain swelling) and watch for signs of infection (from the extent of her wounds). 

Click here if you would like to help.


(MAY 18, 2018) The woman who was reportedly attacked Thursday by a bear near Libby is said to be a field assistant working on a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service grizzly bear project.

The incident happened in a remote section of the Cabinet Mountains south of Libby.and was reported on Thursday at around 11:30 a.m. 

The woman sustained serious injuries in what is described as a surprise defensive encounter with a bear. Her current medical condition has not been disclosed.

She was taken via ambulance to an area along U.S. Highway 2 where an ALERT Air Ambulance arrived and took her to Kalispell Regional Medical Center.

The type of bear involved in the conflict has not yet been determined; trace evidence collected at the scene is being analyzed.

The Wildlife Human Attack Response Team was dispatched to the area immediately upon notification, and their investigation is continuing.

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