A Missouri woman encountered two grizzly bears while hiking the Fairy Falls Trail near Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park. The incident occurred on the morning of June 22, according to a press release, while the woman was hiking alone.

It's unclear as to whether the hiker used her bear spray before or after she was knocked to the ground by the female grizzly. “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.”

The woman was lucky to receive only a scratch to her thigh and some minor injuries to her face. She declined medical attention.

Following the encounter, the Fairy Falls Trail and surrounding area were closed. This is the first encounter this season of a bear injuring a person inside the park. The last time was back in June of 2019, when a black bear bit into an occupied tent and bruised a woman’s thigh.

Yellowstone National Park reminds visitors to make sure they protect themselves and bears while 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
    • If need be, turn around and go the other way to avoid interacting with a wild animal

The park also reminds visitors that wildlife are wild. Give animals space when they are near a trail, boardwalk, parking lot, or in a developed area. Park officials recommend staying 25 yards away from bison, elk, bighorn sheep, deer, moose, and coyotes, and at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves.

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