Yellowstone Park Officials Say A Grizzly Bear Attacked Boy On Thursday
An adult female grizzly bear was defending her cub when she attacked a 10-year-old boy hiking with his family in Yellowstone National Park on Thursday, according to a news release from the park.
Thursday, park officials had not determined the species of the bear.
Law enforcement and bear management staff investigated the incident, investigated tracks and determined the grizzly bear was with at least one cub-of-the-year or yearling bear.
The bears were likely foraging next to the trail when the family of four from Washington was walking on the Divide Trail southeast of Old Faithful.
The bear charged from the vegetation, the boy ran, and the bear chased him and knocked him to the ground.
The parents effectively deployed bear spray about five feet from the bear, which shook its head and left the area.
The family then walked back to the trailhead, drove to the Old Faithful Ranger Station, and were directed to a nearby clinic.
The boy suffered an injured wrist, puncture wounds to the back and wounds around the buttocks. He was taken to the Big Sky Medical Center in Bozeman, Mont.
Park rangers do not intend to search for the bear since this incident was a surprise encounter with a female grizzly bear defending its cub.
"This incident could have been more serious," said Yellowstone National Park Deputy Superintendent Pat Kenney.
"We applaud the family for traveling in a group, carrying bear spray, and knowing how to effectively use it during their emergency," Kenney said "We wish their son a full recovery from his injuries."
The Divide and Spring Creek trails remain temporarily closed. They will reopen after the trails have been inspected for recent bear activity.
There has not been a reported bear attack in Yellowstone since 2015. On average, one bear attack per year occurs in the park.