Hikers in Yellowstone National Park were startled on Thursday when they stumbled upon a bear cub and were attacked by the mother grizzly bear. It was the first bear attack in Yellowstone this year.

The group of four hikers was well prepared, and only two were injured at the scene. When the grizzly attacked, the hikers succeeded in using two cans of bear spray to repel the bear before anyone was critically injured. One hiker suffered minor injuries that were reportedly treated at the scene, and another was taken to a nearby hospital for claw and bite wounds.

The park has said that their investigation of the incident shows that the grizzly was acting on instinct, and therefore will not be pursued by any park personnel. The attack is classified as a "defensive attack." The chances of a defensive attack resulting in injury in Yellowstone are about 1 in 3 million, according to the Yellowstone National Park website.

Al Nash, a spokesman for Yellowstone National Park, commended the hikers on their safety precautions.


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“Here is a group of people who took our advice: they hiked in a group and carried bear spray. While it didn’t eliminate a chance of a bear encounter, everybody walked away alive,” Nash said.

Hours later in Idaho, another bear attack was reported when two biologists doing research in the wilderness were attacked by a bear they had accidentally disrupted. The men were, again, equipped with bear spray, and were successful in warding off the bear. The two still sustained serious bear bite injuries and were reportedly taken to a hospital.

Olivia Truffaut-Wong

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