Grizzly Encounter Suspected in Tragic Yellowstone Hiking Death

 July 26, 2023

The tragic death of a woman, discovered on a trail near Yellowstone National Park following an "apparent bear encounter", causes concern among local authorities and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

The chilling report released on Sunday by state wildlife officials reveals that the victim was found dead in Montana. This tragic discovery took place on the Buttermilk Trail. This trail is nestled just west of West Yellowstone, a quaint little town that sits in the Custer Gallatin National Forest, a stone's throw away from the iconic national park.

The source of this distressing news comes from a statement put out by the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks. Read the full statement here at New York Post.

Grizzly Bear Tracks Discovered Near Scene

Authorities discovered grizzly bear tracks near the scene of the incident. This evidence made them suspect a bear encounter might be at the root of this tragedy. Despite the presence of these tracks, the actual cause of the woman's death is yet to be confirmed. To clarify, the woman's demise appears to be related to an interaction with the bear, but this is not definitively the cause.

This finding prompted the local park rangers to make a move. They swiftly issued an emergency closure of the hiking area where the woman was found. In an effort to preserve public safety, the popular area was shut down until further notice.

Once again, grizzly bear tracks were verified at the scene. However, the investigation into the incident is still ongoing. As of now, the pieces of this puzzling and tragic story have yet to fully come together.

Rising Concerns over Montana's Grizzly Bear Population

This bear attack adds to a growing list of concerns. The incident occurred at a time when Montana is witnessing an alarming increase in its grizzly bear population. Coinciding with this rise is a surge in reported bear sightings throughout the region.

Just last week, the Department issued a warning to park visitors. There have been an unusual number of sightings, especially in areas between the Northern Continental Divide and the Great Yellowstone ecosystems. This situation is rapidly becoming a pressing issue that needs immediate attention.

As a safety measure, officials are urging visitors to carry bear spray and know how to use it. Not only that, they strongly suggest that people travel in groups for added protection. If animal carcasses are spotted, they recommend avoiding them at all costs.

Previous Incident at Yellowstone National Park

This isn't the first dangerous wildlife encounter to make headlines recently. Earlier in the month, a woman vacationing in Yellowstone National Park suffered a severe goring. In her case, it was a bison that struck her in the chest. In a heartwarming twist, her boyfriend proposed to her while she was recovering in the hospital.

As we draw to a close, let's take a moment to recap this distressing story:

- A woman was tragically found dead on a trail near Yellowstone National Park, the incident pointing towards a bear encounter.
- The discovery was made on the Buttermilk Trail, situated just west of West Yellowstone.
- Officials found grizzly bear tracks near the scene, however, the exact cause of death is yet to be confirmed.
- In response, rangers issued an emergency closure of the popular hiking area.
- The incident coincides with a rising grizzly bear population and an increase in sightings throughout Montana.
- Authorities are advising visitors to carry bear spray, travel in groups, and avoid animal carcasses.

This tragedy underscores the ever-present dangers of nature and the need for increased caution.