Officials: Grizzly Bear Killed Woman Near Yellowstone

Hiker found body on trail Saturday morning
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 24, 2023 12:55 PM CDT
Woman Killed in Apparent Bear Attack Near Yellowstone
The department released this photo of a grizzly last month as part of a guide to telling grizzly bears from black bears.   (Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks)

A lone hiker was killed near Yellowstone National Park in what authorities believe was a grizzly bear attack, though they have been unable to locate the bear. The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks department said Monday that the woman's body was found by a hiker Saturday morning on the Buttermilk Trail, around eight miles west of the town of West Yellowstone, the New York Times reports. Wardens and bear specialists "found that the woman had wounds consistent with a bear attack," the department said in a statement. "They also found tracks from an adult grizzly bear and at least one cub near the site."

"The hiker was believed to be alone during the encounter, and no bear spray or firearms were found at the scene," the department said. The trail is in the Custer Gallatin National Forest, just west of Yellowstone. The department said they closed the trail and notified area residents of the bear activity, the AP reports. "They then began conducting capture operations due to the incident's proximity to residences, campgrounds, and a high-use OHV trail system," the statement said. "No bears have been captured to date."

Last week, the department said there had been a rise in confirmed grizzly bear sightings in Montana and urged residents and visitors to be "bear aware." Their recommendations included carrying bear spray and knowing how to use it, traveling in groups when possible, and making noise when on trails, especially in thick forest or near streams. The Times notes that the final tip was simple: "Don't approach a bear." (More bear attack stories.)

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