A civilian employee at Joint Base Lewis-McChord was injured by a black bear Thursday in a wooded area of the military installation, according to JBLM. The employee was recovering at Madigan Army Medical Center.
JBLM and the state Department of Fish and Wildlife closed the area where the incident took place and were searching for the bear Thursday afternoon, said Fish and Wildlife Sgt. Carl Klein.
The employee reportedly was on a trail cutting through a training area south of Railroad Avenue and JBLM’s Memorial Park when the employee encountered the bear.
The Army has not released any description of the injuries. Klein said officers were still investigating how the incident unfolded.
“Any wild animal is unpredictable, not necessarily dangerous,” Klein said.
JBLM contains more than 61,000 acres of forest and woodland. It has been the scene of other bear encounters, including a 2011 incident in which a bear scratched a civilian employee. In 2013, the base newspaper published a story documenting multiple bear sightings in the same area where the employee was injured Thursday.