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July 16, 1998|EARL GUSTKEY

What: "Mark of the Grizzly" by Scott McMillion

Publisher: Falcon ($14.95)

Planning a vacation trip to Yellowstone or to wilderness sites in Canada or Alaska?

Better read this first. Then maybe Disneyland will look like a better idea.

McMillion, environmental reporter for the Bozeman Chronicle in Montana, has compiled a positively chilling collection of grizzly/human encounters of the most horrifying kind.

Here's what happened to bear biologist Barrie Gilbert on June 27, 1977, at Yellowstone:

" . . . One canine tooth punched through his left eye, destroying it forever and opening up the sinus cavity, gouging deep enough to touch his brain. One bite peeled the skin from his forehead. His right eye, the one that he would keep, was hanging slightly out of the socket. His nose was torn away; so were his ears."

Sarah Muller, a Yellowstone trail worker, who, while hiking from a work site on July 26, 1992, surprised a sow with cubs:

"[The grizzly] sank its teeth in her pretty face . . . bites broke her left arm and tore open her shoulder and her legs. One crushed seven ribs that would never heal. The bear shook her like a terrier does a rat. She heard cracking sounds when the bear bit into her ribs, but the crunching of teeth in her skull, the bear's top teeth in the back of her head, the bottom ones in her eye and forehead, were even louder."

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