Authorities have reported the tragic discovery of a woman’s body in southern Montana, believed to have been killed in an incident involving a grizzly bear near Yellowstone National Park. The unfortunate finding occurred on Saturday morning on the Buttermilk Trail, located west of West Yellowstone, as stated by the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks.
Investigators confirmed evidence of grizzly bear tracks at the scene, indicating a probable bear encounter, as they continue to unravel the details of the event, said the agency in an official statement.
Considering this, the Custer Gallatin National Forest immediately shut down the Buttermilk area to ensure public safety and urged everyone to steer clear of the vicinity. The Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks also highlighted the recent surge in grizzly bear populations within the state and imparted important safety advice for outdoor enthusiasts: know how to operate bear spray, travel in groups during daylight, and stay vigilant for bear signs like scat, diggings, disturbed logs and rocks, and partially devoured animal carcasses.
The deceased woman’s identity has yet to be released. This unsettling event follows another incident in Yellowstone National Park where a bison harmed a woman from Arizona.
Bear encounters that escalate to attacks are relatively infrequent in Yellowstone. The park’s data suggests a yearly average of roughly one such incident. Since its founding in 1872, Yellowstone National Park, as per the National Park Service (NPS) records, has witnessed eight fatalities resulting from bear interactions.
In a separate event last Monday, a holiday trip for Chris Whitehill and his fiancée, Amber Harris, took a drastic turn when a bison attacked Harris. Whitehill recounted the horrifying incident to FOX10 Phoenix, describing their peaceful morning walk by the Lake Lodge Cabins on the north shore of Lake Yellowstone, only to come across two bison approximately 50 to 60 yards away.
Whitehill explained how one of the bison charged at Harris despite his efforts to distract it, hitting her squarely in the abdomen. “She was flung 8 to 10 feet into the air and landed squarely on her back,” said Whitehill. Harris suffered severe injuries, including seven fractured vertebrae and two partially collapsed lungs, necessitating her immediate airlift to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.