CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Four people injured in two separate bear attacks in and near Yellowstone National Park on the same day were able to escape with relatively minor injuries. None remained hospitalized Friday.

In Yellowstone, officials decided not to pursue a grizzly that attacked two hikers on a trail near Canyon Village on Thursday in the north-central portion of the park. The sow grizzly attacked after the hikers came across its young cub born the previous winter, according to park spokesman Al Nash.

“This bear by all accounts was acting on instinct, defending its cub. That is natural and normal behavior for a sow grizzly,” Nash said Friday.

Park officials weren’t identifying the two victims. One was treated at a hospital for bite and claw wounds and released and the other was treated at the scene.

Both victims reported they deployed bear spray, then dropped to the ground and played dead.

“Which is what we advise hikers to do when they find themselves in that type of situation,” Nash said.

Later that day, two Bureau of Land Management contract workers were attacked about 70 miles west of the Yellowstone attack.

“They were about 40 feet out, and a bear under a tree just came up at them. It hit the first fellow, bit him in the thigh and backside,” Idaho Department of Fish and Game spokesman Gregg Losinski said. “The second person got out his bear spray. When the bear hit him, it bit his hand.”

Both unidentified workers were treated at a hospital in Rexburg, Idaho, and released.

Grizzly attacks have become more common in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho as the region’s grizzly population has rebounded over the past 20 years or so. Wild grizzlies have killed four people in the Yellowstone region over the past three years.

This year, grizzly attacks have wounded at least three others in the Rockies, including a rancher east of Yellowstone and a woman on Montana’s Blackfeet Indian Reservation. Last month, a researcher near Island Park, Idaho, underwent minor surgery after being bitten by a grizzly.

Attacks tend to pick up as hunters roam the backcountry in pursuit of elk each fall.

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(13) comments

Shotgunner
Shotgunner

No wonder the park service allows guns in the parks.

RPT

In the park the wolves were allowed to slaughter their own and the bears food source in just 15 short years.
As time goes on these attacks on humans will become more common.
You can have either unlimited tourist or unlimited predators in that park
But you can’t have both without having problems like this.

Don Bergoust

The wolves are competing with the bear's appitite for "meat". The bears have noticed the wolves are "afraid" of humans. Some bears aren't happy with their vegan diet. Bears aren't afraid of humans. Humans don't carry firearms any longer. Go figure.

RPT

You can have either unlimited tourist or unlimited predators in that park
But you can’t have both without having problems like this.
Like trying to mix oil and water.
Maybe some flags and fence along the trails would solve the problem.
Some claim the wolves in Montana are dumb enough to fall for it..
Perhaps the bears in the park are also?

trad man

obviously the pepper spray did work and the attacks were short lived. A grizzly can do a lot of damage in seconds so these folks did the right thing

Gadfly

These people were in grizzly country. Were any grizzlies behaving in an abnormal way? Considering all the encroachment in grizzly country while hunting and hiking an camping, thousands if not hundreds of thousands, the grizzlies have been relatively tolerant. I think wildlife agencies are exaggerating the conflicts in preparations for de-listing and having licenses on another trophy animal.

Frannie

Is it just me, or is anyone else starting to suspect that these sows are just using their cubs as bait? plopping them down on the trail in hopes of luring some unsuspecting tourists, while they hover in nearby bushes waiting for the perfect moment to pounce?

wildmtn

Best laugh of my day!! Thanks Frannie

Bittersweet
Bittersweet

It's just you.

jus wundrin
jus wundrin

It appears that the bear spray doesnt work as advertised. I prefer the 00, or 000 variety of bear spray, mixed in with a sabot or two.

amortdal

what did not work about it?

mt365

Are there really wildlife terrorists hiking in Yellowstone Park? Leave the bears alone.

Roger
Roger

You are delusional.

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