A mother grizzly bear killed a 57-year-old man at Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming on Wednesday. The man and his wife had apparently surprised the bear and her cubs. The grizzly chased the woman after she started running, picked her up by her backpack and dropped her, but she survived.
Park officials are looking for the bear but do not intend to kill it since she was acting on her instincts to protect her cubs. The trail has been closed and a sign posted warns hikers of grizzlies.
The incident is tragic, but rare, as it’s the first time since 1986 that a bear in Yellowstone has killed a person.
There are ways to protect yourself from grizzly bear attacks, which you should familiarize yourself with before hiking or camping with your family in bear country this summer:
1. Make noise. Talk in loud voices. Wear a bell around your wrist or your shoe or your belt or your backpack. Surprising a grizzly is the worst thing you can do. Make sure they know you’re coming.
2. Stay in a group.
3. Carry pepper spray.
4. Keep food away from campsites. Don’t sleep where you cook or in the clothes in which you ate. Sleep far away from where you stash your food — at least 100 yards — and hang the food over the branch of a tree overnight.
5. If you encounter a grizzly, look down on the ground and be careful not to make eye contact. Back away slowly, but don’t turn your back to it and, most importantly, don’t run or make sudden moves. Speak in a loud, authoritative voice. You can also try playing dead.
6. Pick up small children and put them on your shoulders, or hold your backpack over your head so you appear larger.
7. If it starts approaching, throw anything you can at it, like large rocks, your back pack or even a bicycle.
8. If the grizzly starts attacking, crouch into a ball on the ground and cover the back of your neck.
Source: The Washington Post