37-year-old female hiker from Missouri received a minor scratch to her thigh after being knocked down by a protective momma grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park on Monday. The Billings Gazette reports the woman was hiking alone on the Fairy Falls Trail near Old Faithful when she encountered two grizzly bears at close range. She attempted to use her bear spray.
“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. 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.” -Bear Management Biologist Kerry Gunther
When the visitor fell to the ground she also received minor injuries to her face but later turned down medical attention. This is the first incident of a bear injuring a visitor in Yellowstone in 2020. The last bear encounter ending in injury was back in June 2019 when a park visitor was bitten through a tent by a black bear. The Fairy Falls Trail is near the location where a tourist shot the viral video of a young grizzly bear attempting to bring down a bison in May.
QUICK VIDEO REMINDING YELLOWSTONE VISITORS ABOUT GRIZ: