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Yellowstone hiker injured in grizzly encounter
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Yellowstone hiker injured in grizzly encounter

Trail

The Beaver Ponds Trail, shown in this 2016 photo, is a five-mile loop that takes off from behind the Mammoth Hotel. The park's website notes the route is often frequented by bears.

A 39-year-old man was injured by a grizzly bear Friday morning while hiking on the Beaver Ponds Trail at Mammoth Hot Springs, according to a Yellowstone National Park press release.

The incident occurred about 1.5 miles from the trailhead that originates from the Old Gardiner Road on the 5-mile loop trail.

The man was hiking alone when he encountered what he believed to be two grizzly bears. One of the bears caused "significant injuries" to the hiker's "lower extremities" but he was able to hike out on his own.

The man was transported to Livingston HealthCare hospital by park ambulance.

The Beaver Ponds Trail is closed until further notice. Bear management staff are sweeping the trail to ensure no other hikers are on the trail.

This is the first incident of a bear injuring a person in Yellowstone in 2021. The last incident was in June 2020, when a grizzly bear knocked a woman to the ground and scratched her thigh.

Not far outside the park, on April 15, a West Yellowstone man was fatally mauled by a grizzly bear that was later shot and killed. The bear had been feeding on a dead moose carcass. 

All park visitors, as well as those hiking in forests surrounding the park are reminded to be bear aware:

• Stay 100 yards away from bears at all times.

• Carry bear spray and know how to use it.

• Be alert. See the bear before you surprise it. Watch for fresh tracks, scat, and feeding sites (signs of digging, rolled rocks, torn up logs, ripped open ant hills).

• Make noise.

• Hike in groups of three or more people.

• Don't hike at dawn, dusk, or at night, when grizzlies are most active.

• Don’t run from a bear.

Two grizzly bears run near a bison herd in Yellowstone National Park.

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