YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. (AP) — Two grizzly bears attacked a concessions worker hiking in Yellowstone's backcountry, sending him to the hospital, officials said Saturday.
The 20-year-old man suffered lacerations and puncture wounds along with minor bruises while hiking Friday evening on Mary Mountain Trail in Hayden Valley.
The employee of Xanterra Parks and Resorts was hiking and bird-watching off the trail when he encountered two adult grizzlies about 30 yards away.
The bears charged the victim, who immediately dropped to the ground and remained still. The bears swatted and bit him on the back, rolling him over, then left the area, officials said.
When he believed the bears were gone, the victim hiked the half-mile back to the trailhead and his vehicle.
A passing motorist agreed to drive him to the Canyon area. On the way, they met a park ranger managing traffic where a number of visitors were watching elk.
The ranger provided treatment, then had the victim taken by ambulance to the Lake Clinic. He was later taken to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls, Idaho.
Mary Mountain Trail was temporarily closed but has since reopened with bear warnings posted along the eastern portion, where the attack occurred.
Yellowstone visitors are reminded when hiking in bear country to not travel alone and to stay on designated trails, make noise and stay alert.