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A 20-year-old man reported missing in Yellowstone National Park Wednesday night returned Thursday morning, saying he spent the night with a group of bison.

The man from Washington state wandered away from his family around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday at a trailhead near Fishing Bridge.

He was barefoot, wearing only shorts, a light sweater and carrying a blanket, according to park officials. He did not tell his party that he was leaving for the night.

Because the area tends to be a busy place for grizzly bears and temperatures were expected to drop below freezing, a search was launched immediately after the man was reported missing.

Thirteen people and two dog teams searched for the man until around 4 a.m. Thursday and resumed the search about two hours later.

The man reappeared around 8:15 a.m. Thursday at Fishing Bridge. He told rangers that after leaving the Fishing Bridge RV park, he walked down the Howard Eaton trail along the east bank of the Yellowstone River and spent the night among bison grazing in the area.

Despite low temperatures around 27 degrees, the man was in good condition Thursday morning, park officials said.

Al Nash, a Yellowstone spokesman, urged visitors to be prepared when they travel in the park, carry extra clothes and be aware of weather conditions that can change quickly.

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