Posted: Aug 15, 2013 5:31 PM by MTN News
Updated: Aug 15, 2013 5:39 PM
A surprise meeting with a grizzly bear results in two hikers being treated for injuries after a Thursday morning encounter in Yellowstone National Park.
Park officials say four people were hiking on the Cygnet Lakes Trail, southwest of Canyon Village, about 11:30 a.m. when they saw an grizzly bear cub approaching. A sow grizzly then appeared and charged the group.
The sow and cub left the area after two of the hikers discharged their canisters of bear spray. The encounter lasted about a minute.
The four hikers hiked out to the trailhead, one was treated at the scene, while the second injured hiker was transported by ambulance to an area hospital with bite and claw wounds.
Biologists with say the sow's behavior is consistent with purely defensive actions taken after a surprise encounter with people. This was the first report of any bear-caused human injuries in Yellowstone this year. The incident remains under investigation.
There had been no recent reports of grizzly bear activity in the area. As a precaution the Cygnet Lakes Trail and the surrounding area have been temporarily closed. In addition, the park has closed the nearby Mary Mountain area to any off trail travel.
All four hikers have asked that their identities not be released.