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Officials confirm dead woman found on hiking trail near Yellowstone National Park died from grizzly bear attack
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Officials confirm dead woman found on hiking trail near Yellowstone National Park died from grizzly bear attack

Officials confirmed Monday that a woman died near Yellowstone National Park after being attacked by a grizzly bear.

Early Saturday morning, officials with Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks were notified that a hiker found a woman deceased on a trail about eight miles from West Yellowstone, the agency said in a statement.

Upon investigating, bear specialists and other game wardens discovered the woman suffered from "wounds consistent with a bear attack."

"They also found tracks from an adult grizzly bear and at least one cub near the site. They did not see any bears or signs of a day bed or animal carcass during the investigation," the agency explained. "The hiker was believed to be alone during the encounter, and no bear spray or firearms were found at the scene."

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks are jointly investigating the incident.

Officials did not release the victim's name.

Tragically, the woman was attacked and killed the same week that Montana game wardens issued a warning about bears. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, in fact, warned there have been "grizzly bear sightings in several places where grizzlies haven’t been seen in recent years, and in some cases more than a century," KECI-TV reported.

Still, bear attacks are rare.

Only eight people have been killed by bears in Yellowstone National Park since the park was established in 1872. On the other hand, there have been seven fatal brown and black bear attacks in Montana since 2010, including three (now four) since 2021.

This is only the second fatal bear attack in the U.S. this year. Steven Jackson, 66, was killed in Arizona last month when a black bear attacked him. Neighbors rushed to his aid and eventually killed the bear, but it was too late. Officials were left perplexed over the attack because the bear was not provoked nor was it unhealthy.

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