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Woman injured by grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park

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Posted at 2:45 PM, Jun 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-24 16:52:48-04

GREAT FALLS — A woman sustained a minor injury from a grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park on Monday, June 22nd.

Park officials said in a news release on Wednesday that the 37-year old woman from Missouri was hiking alone when she encountered two grizzly bears at very close range on the Fairy Falls Trail near Old Faithful.

The female bear knocked the woman down, and she sustained a scratch on her thigh. When the woman fell, she also sustained minor injuries to her face. She later declined medical attention. The hiker did try to deploy her bear spray, park officials said.

After the incident, the Fairy Falls Trail was cleared of hikers. The trail and surrounding has been temporarily closed.

“From the injured person’s statements, this appears to be a typical case of a mother grizzly bear protecting her offspring following a close-range encounter,” said bear management biologist Kerry Gunther. “Because this bear was displaying natural protective behavior for its cub, no action will be taken against the bear. Several trails in the area will be closed to give the grizzly family group time to clear from the area.”

Park officials urge all visitors to stay safe when hiking in bear country:

  • Hike in groups of three or more people
  • Carry bear spray and know how to use it
  • Be alert and make noise
  • Stay out of areas that are closed for bear management
  • Don’t hike at dawn, dusk, or at night when grizzly bears are most active
  • Turn around and go the other way to avoid interacting with a wild animal

Park officials remind visitors that wildlife in Yellowstone National Park is exactly that - wild. When an animal is near a trail, boardwalk, parking lot, or in a developed area, give it space. Stay 25 yards away from all large animals - bison, elk, bighorn sheep, deer, moose, and coyotes, and at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves.

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