By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
A Missouri woman sustained a minor injury after encountering a bear in Yellowstone National Park on Monday.
According to a news release, the Columbia, Missouri woman, 37, encountered the female grizzly while hiking on the Fairy Falls Trail near Old Faithful.
The woman was hiking alone when she encountered two grizzlies at close range. The female bear knocked the woman down and she suffered a scratch on her thigh. The woman attempted to use her bear spray.
When the woman fell, she also received minor injuries to her face. She declined medical attention.
Following the incident, the Fairy Falls Trail was cleared of hikers. The trail and surrounding area have 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 Kerry Gunther, a park bear management biologist. “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.”
This is the first incident of a bear injuring a visitor in Yellowstone this year. The last time a bear injured a visitor in the park was June 2019, when a black bear bit into an occupied tent and bruised a woman’s thigh.
This incident is under investigation.