Montana Public Radio

Hiker Receives Minor Injuries In Bear Encounter At Yellowstone

Jun 24, 2020
Originally published on June 29, 2020 6:43 pm

A hiker received minor injuries from a grizzly bear Monday in Yellowstone National Park.

A woman from Missouri was hiking alone on the Fairy Falls Trail near Old Faithful when she encountered two grizzly bears at close range.

A press release from Yellowstone said the female bear knocked the woman to the ground while she attempted to use bear spray. The woman received a scratch on her thigh and minor injuries to her face, later declining medical attention.

Bear management biologist Kerry Gunther said it appears to be a typical case of a mother grizzly bear protecting her offspring.

He said no action will be taken against the bear. The trail and surrounding area have been temporarily closed.

This is the first incident of a bear injuring a visitor in Yellowstone in 2020. The last time a bear injured a visitor in the park was in June 2019, when a black bear bit into an occupied tent and bruised a woman’s thigh.

Protect yourself and bears while you hike 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

  • If need be, turn around and go the other way to avoid interacting with a wild animal

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