Two grizzly bears in Grand Teton National Park. Credit: Grand Teton National Park

GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK, Wyoming – A 35-year-old visitor of Grand Teton National Park was seriously injured by a bear on Sunday, May 19, leading to a response from Grand Teton National Park rangers and Teton County Search and Rescue.

According to a press release from the National Park Service, the incident occurred near Signal Mountain Summit Road in the afternoon. The victim, from Massachusetts, was given emergency medical care on the scene before being transported to St. John’s Hospital via helicopter and ambulance.

Based on reports from the victim and preliminary information from an ongoing investigation, the incident is believed to be the result of a surprise encounter between the victim and two grizzly bears. Only one of two bears is believed to have initiated contact.

The visitor is in stable condition and should make a full recovery.

Grand Teton National Park:

To prevent human-bear conflicts, visitors are reminded to:

  • Never leave your food unattended unless it is properly secured.
  • Keep a clean camp and adhere to all food storage orders. Store all attractants, including coolers, cooking gear, pet food, and toiletries, inside a bear-resistant food locker (i.e. bear box) or a hard-sided vehicle with the windows rolled up.
  • Properly store garbage until you can deposit it into a bear-resistant dumpster.
  • Do not eat or cook in your tent, and never keep food or other scented items in your tent.
  • Please respect all wildlife closure areas.
  • If you see a bear, please give it space. Always stay at least 100 yards away. If you choose to watch or photograph the bear, use a spotting scope, binoculars, or telephoto lens. Park in designated areas, and never block travel lanes. Follow the directions of staff in places where bears are sighted.

If you are exploring the backcountry:

  • Be alert and aware of your surroundings.
  • Make noise, especially in areas with limited visibility or when sound is muffled (e.g., near streams or when it is windy).
  • Carry bear spray, know how to use it, and keep it readily accessible.
  • Hike in groups of three or more people.
  • Do not run. Back away slowly if you encounter a bear.

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