Four people suffered minor injuries Thursday, after two separate grizzly bear attacks in and around Yellowstone National Park.
The first attack occurred after two hikers came across a grizzly cub near Canyon Village, which lies in the northern area of the park. The two used bear spray and played dead, both suggested tactics to employ during a grizzly attack. One hiker was treated at the scene, and the other was taken to a hospital for relatively minor bite and claw wounds. Park officials decided not to pursue the attacking bear, and according to park spokesperson Al Nash, the “bear by all accounts was acting on instinct, defending its cub. That is natural and normal behavior for a sow grizzly.”
Later that day, two Bureau of Land Management employees were also attacked, roughly 70 miles west of the Yellowstone incident. In this instance, both victims wound up in the hospital. According to Idaho Department of Fish and Game spokesman Gregg Losinski, the grizzly “hit the first fellow, bit him in the thigh and backside. The second person got out his bear spray. When the bear hit him, it bit his hand.” Both workers were treated at a Rexburg, Idaho hospital and released.
Grizzly attacks have been on the rise the region, as bear populations have been on the rebound over the past couple of decades. Four people were mauled to death in Yellowstone since 2010. Incidentally, attacks are typically on the upswing in the fall, as hunters pursue backcountry elk in the area.
In related news, for anyone curious, here is what one might see while being eaten by a bear.