YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyoming, Aug. 23, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — A 10-year-old boy from Washington state was injured Wednesday after being attacked by a bear in Yellowstone National Park.
According to a park press release, the boy was with three family members hiking on a trail about a half-mile southeast of Old Faithful when the bear emerged from “vegetation” and charged the family.
Rangers said the child tried to run but was knocked to the ground by the fast-moving bear.
The child’s parents responded by spraying repellent in the bear’s face from about five feet away.
The bear reportedly shook its head and then retreated back into the bush.
The family walked back to their vehicle at a nearby trailhead and drove to the Old Faithful Ranger Station. The boy was given first-aid at a nearby clinic, where he was treated for a sprained wrist and puncture wounds on his back and hips. He was then transferred to the Big Sky Medical Center in Bozeman, Montana.
Park rangers, including bear management specialists, began a search of the area trying to determine the bruin’s whereabouts. Short of that, they hoped to at least determine the species of bear involved in the attack.
The popular Spring Creek and Divide Trails were temporarily closed and hikers warned to be extra vigilant and to carry bear spray whenever they venture inside the park.
Park officials say all of Yellowstone is bear habitat “from the deepest backcountry to the boardwalks around Old Faithful” and that park visitors should be “prepared for bear encounters no matter where they go.”
Wednesday’s incident was the first reported bear attack inside the park since 2015.
According to park officials, the average for bear attacks in Yellowstone is one per year.