A woman was found dead near Yellowstone National Park over the weekend, and wildlife officials suspect it was caused by a grizzly bear. On Saturday morning, the woman was discovered after an “apparent bear encounter” on Buttermilk Trail, which is located west of West Yellowstone. The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks stated in a Sunday statement that the investigation is ongoing, but grizzly bear tracks were found at the scene.
Officials say bears are all around Montana, and there are more grizzly bears now than in the past. They made a list of things you can do to defend against bear attacks, like carrying bear spray in your survival pack, traveling in groups during the day, and avoiding places with dead animals or birds. They also say to watch for signs of bears, like bear poop, diggings, rocks that have been turned over, and partly eaten animal bodies.
The National Park Service said there have been eight deaths from bears in Yellowstone since it started in 1872. They announced:
“More people in the park have died from drowning (125 incidents) and burns (after falling into hot springs, 23 incidents) than have been killed by bears. To put it in perspective, the probability of being killed by a bear in the park (8 incidents) is only slightly higher than the probability of being killed by a falling tree (7 incidents), in an avalanche (6 incidents), or being struck and killed by lightning (5 incidents).”