News Release

Boy injured by a bear

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Date: August 23, 2018

  • Around 10 a.m. Thursday, August 23, a family of four from Washington encountered a bear a half mile up the Divide Trail, southeast of Old Faithful.
  • The son, 10, ran away from the bear when it charged out of vegetation towards the family.  
  • The bear chased the boy and knocked him to the ground.
  • The parents effectively deployed bear spray about five feet from the bear’s face. Thereafter, the bear shook its head and left the area.
  • After the incident, the family walked back to the trailhead, drove to the Old Faithful Ranger Station, and were directed to the nearby clinic.
  • The 10-year-old suffered an injured wrist, puncture wounds to the back and wounds around the buttocks. He was transferred to the Big Sky Medical Center.
  • Law enforcement and bear management staff responded immediately to the area and are currently investigating the incident, including looking for sign that would identify the bear species. 
  • The Spring Creek and Divide trails are temporarily closed. 
  • All of Yellowstone National Park is bear habitat: from the deepest backcountry to the boardwalks around Old Faithful. Please prepare for bear encounters no matter where you go. Reduce your risk of a bear encounter by carrying bear spray. Be alert, make noise, hike in groups of three or more, do not run if you encounter a bear and stand your ground if charged by a bear. Learn more at
  • There has not been a reported bear attack in Yellowstone since 2015. On average, one bear attack per year occurs in the park.
  • News media: there are no images of this incident.

Last updated: August 31, 2018

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