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Yellowstone Tourist Learns Mama Bears Don't Mess Around

Missouri tourist escapes with minor injuries after attack by grizzly
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 25, 2020 10:30 AM CDT

(Newser) – Visitors strolling along a path with a name like Fairy Falls Trail wouldn't be unreasonable to envision a relaxing, enchanting walk surrounded by picturesque scenery. For one tourist in Yellowstone National Park this week, however, her saunter was anything but idyllic. Per a National Park Service release cited by the East Idaho News, the 37-year-old woman from Columbia, Mo., was hiking solo Monday morning along the trail near the Old Faithful geyser when she stumbled across two grizzly bears "at very close range." The female bear knocked down the woman, who tried to use bear spray to fend off her attacker.

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"From the injured person's statements, this appears to be a typical case of a mother grizzly bear protecting her offspring," a bear management biologist says. "Because this bear was displaying natural protective behavior for its cub, no action will be taken against the bear." The woman, who declined medical attention, came away from the bear encounter with minor facial injuries and a scratched thigh. She alerted others to the attack, and park officials closed multiple trails in the area to give the bears time to move elsewhere. Per the release, this is the first bear attack against a human in Yellowstone this year. (Read more Yellowstone National Park stories.)

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