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Grizzly Bear Injures Hiker In Yellowstone National Park

A grizzly bear mother and cub in Yellowstone Park.
A grizzly bear mother and cub in Yellowstone Park. File photo.

A bear attacked and injured a hiker Friday morning in Yellowstone National Park. The incident comes just over two weeks after a park visitor sparked an investigation after approaching a grizzly and her cubs.

Park officials say a 39-year-old man was hiking alone on a trail near Mammoth Hot Springs Friday when he encountered what he believed to be two grizzly bears.

Park spokesperson Linda Veress says the man was injured but still able to get away.

“One bear made contact with the hiker and he sustained significant injuries to his lower extremities. However, he was able to hike out on his own and was transported to a Livingston hospital by park ambulance.”

The Beaver Ponds Trail, where the hiker was injured, is closed until further notice.

Meanwhile, a National Park Service investigation continues into a May 10 incident in Yellowstone in which an unidentified woman approached a grizzly and her two cubs at the north end of the Roaring Mountain parking lot. The grizzly sow charged, but turned away, leaving the unidentified woman uninjured. 

Veress urges park visitors to stay 100 yards away from all bears and wolves, and 25 yards from other wildlife.

“It’s very important to give these animals space.”

Yellowstone and Glacier National Park officials are anticipating possible record-setting crowds this summer and want visitors to stay safe while hiking in bear country. Veress has advice on how to do this:

“Hiking in groups of three or more, making a lot of noise when they’re hiking out on the trail, avoiding early morning hours and dusk — and hike in the middle of the day, and carry bear spray and know how to use it.”

Friday’s bear attack is the first incident of a bear injuring someone in Yellowstone this year. The last incident was in June of last year when a grizzly knocked a woman down and scratched her thigh. 

Edward O’Brien first landed at Montana Public Radio three decades ago as a news intern while attending the UM School of Journalism. He covers a wide range of stories from around the state.  
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