A hiker was injured by a grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park last week, the first such injury in the park this year, according to a statement put out by the park’s management over the weekend.
A man was hiking alone on the Beaver Ponds Trail in the park when, according to the statement, “he encountered what he believed to be two grizzly bears. One bear made contact with the hiker and he sustained significant injuries to his lower extremities but was able to hike out on his own.”
The 39-year-old hiker was taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital. Officials shut down the Beaver Ponds Trail after the incident, and management swept the area to make sure there were not other hikers out on the trail.
This was the first incident of a bear injuring a person in Yellowstone National Park since June 2020, when a woman was knocked to the ground and scratched by a grizzly, according to the statement.
Yellowstone management reminded the public of precautions to take while in the park, recommending that people stay 100 yards away from bears at all times and to carry bear spray, as well as knowing how to properly use it.
People should also only be hiking in groups of three or more, being sure to make as much noise as possible if inadvertently encountering a bear. In addition, park officials emphasized that one should not run from a bear.
The recommendations also suggested that people not hike at dawn, dusk, or at night, when grizzlies are the most active.
Another important point is that the public is reminded to never attempt to feed bears.
The incident came a few days after a video showed a woman walking toward a grizzly bear to take photographs, apparently ignoring the warnings of being too close to the animal, according to USA Today.
The bear started to charge toward the woman, who then calmly walked away unscathed. Park officials opened an investigation into the incident.
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