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Yellowstone grizzly mauls park visitor, who hikes miles to safety though injured

5/24/2007

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. — A park visitor was
attacked by a grizzly bear Wednesday and hiked miles to safety with
severe facial injuries, park officials said.

The man, in his late 50s, was taking photographs of bears when
he was attacked, according to a statement from the park. He told
rangers he had been attacked by a sow with a cub.

After the attack, he hiked two to three miles and was discovered
by other park visitors around 1 p.m., the statement said. He was
hospitalized, but officials declined to release his condition
Wednesday evening.

``I was told that the injuries to his face were severe,''
Yellowstone spokesman Al Nash said, adding that the injuries were
the type that result from clawing.

Park officials will investigate the attack, Nash said.

Grizzly bears and black bears, including sows with cubs, are
active in the spring, Park Service officials said. Park visitors
are encouraged to travel in groups, make noise and carry pepper
spray.

No human injuries from bears were reported in Yellowstone last
year, and only eight minor injuries have been reported since 2000,
the Park Service reports.

The last bear-caused human fatality in
the park was in 1986.