(NEXSTAR) – A hiker at Yellowstone National Park was attacked by a bear on Friday morning, marking the first incident of a bear inflicting injury on a visitor since June 2020.
The man, 39, had been hiking alone along the Beaver Ponds Trail at Mammoth Hot Springs when he encountered what he thought were two grizzlies, Yellowstone officials said in a news release. One of the bears attacked the hiker, causing “significant injuries” to the man’s lower extremities.
The hiker was able to get himself out of the area by himself. An ambulance transported him to a hospital in Livingston, Montana.
Yellowstone officials closed the Beaver Ponds Trail following the incident. Staffers had also started sweeping the trail to collect any hikers that remained in the area.
Friday’s incident marks the first bear attack at Yellowstone since June 22, 2020, when a solo female hiker was knocked down and scratched by a grizzly bear on a trail near Old Faithful. At the time, Yellowstone warned visitors to “always hike in groups of three or more,” per a 2020 news release.
The National Park Service (NPS) and Yellowstone also urge that visitors review the best practices for camping and hiking in bear habitat (which encompasses all of Yellowstone), and to learn what to do in case of a bear encounter.
This latest bear attack at Yellowstone also comes as NPS investigators seek to identify a woman who was filmed approaching a female grizzly bear and her cubs earlier this month.