By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
A man was attacked Friday morning by a bear while hiking in Yellowstone National Park, according to park officials.
Park officials said the unidentified 39-year-old man was attacked while hiking alone on the Beaver Ponds Trail at Mammoth Hot Springs. The incident occurred around 1.5 miles from the trailhead that originates from the Old Gardiner Road.
The man told park officials he was hiking when he encountered what he believed to be two grizzly bears. One attacked him and he sustained significant injuries to his lower extremities, but was able to hike out on his own.
The hiker was transported to the Livingston, Montana, Hospital by park ambulance.
The Beaver Ponds Trail was closed until further notice. Bear management staff swept the trail Friday morning to ensure no hikers were on it.
Park officials are advising those hiking in Yellowstone to stay at least 100 yards away from bears at all times and carry bear spray.
The last bear-human conflict in the park occurred in June 2020, when a grizzly knocked a woman to the ground and scratched her thigh.
The woman was hiking alone when she encountered two grizzlies at close range. The female bear knocked her down despite the woman’s attempt to use bear spray.
When the woman fell, she also received minor injuries to her face. She declined medical attention.