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friendly neighborhood bear

Yellowstone National Park News Release

Bear Incident in Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park officials note that a woman, jogging alone, received minor injuries when she ncountered a bear in the Lake area on Saturday, May 26, at approximately 7:00 a.m.

Abigail Thomas, a 32-year-old U.S. Post Office employee at Lake, was jogging around the Lake Lodge cabin loop when she encountered a male sub-adult grizzly bear approximately 15 yards to her right. Ms. Thomas immediately stopped and stood perfectly still; she did not make eye contact with the bear, and continuously reassured the bear that she was not a threat. The bear stood up on its back legs and sniffed the air, then dropped to the ground and slowly approach Ms. Thomas on her right side. When it reached her, it began sniffing her from the waist down, then opened its mouth and “very gently” closed its mouth around Ms. Thomas right upper thigh. The bear applied a small amount of pressure, then released her leg. Ms. Thomas received no injuries, other than some very minor contusions; her skin was not broken from the bite. After Ms. Thomas felt the bear release her leg, she reached for her water bottle and squirted the bear between the eyes. The bear immediately ran from the area.

Park officials praised Ms. Thomas for how well she handled the potentially life-threatening bear encounter, remaining calm and focused throughout the ordeal.