MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, Wyo.- Authorities have determined that an adult mother grizzly bear with a cub injured a 10-year-old Washington state boy near Old Faithful Thursday morning.
Park rangers said in a Friday news release they do not intend to search for the bear because it was a surprise encounter, and the grizzly acted to defend her cub.
The boy was hiking with his family about a half mile up the Divide Trail south of Old Faithful when they surprised the bear. His parents forced the bear away with bear spray from a close distance. He suffered an injured wrist and puncture wounds to his back and buttocks and was treated at a Big Sky medical facility.
“This incident could have been more serious. We applaud the family for traveling in a group, carrying bear spray, and knowing how to effectively use it during their emergency,” Yellowstone National Park Deputy Superintendent Pat Kenney said in a statement. “We wish their son a full recovery from his injuries.”
Park officials said staff found tracks indicating the grizzly was with at least one cub-of-the-year or yearling bear foraging next to the trail.
Park officials said the Divide and Spring Creek trails would remain closed. They will reopen after they’ve been inspected for recent bear activity.