West Yellowstone trail closed after woman killed by bear

July 23 (UPI) -- Park officials in Montana have issued an emergency closure of a trail near Yellowstone after the body of a woman killed in an apparent bear attack was found.

The woman's body was discovered Saturday morning on the Buttermilk Trail west of West Yellowstone. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks said in a statement that she died "following an apparent bear encounter."


"Investigators confirmed grizzly bear tracks at the scene, and the investigation is ongoing," it said.

An emergency closure of the Buttermilk Trial area located about 8 miles west of West Yellowstone has been issued, the Custer Gallatin National Forest said.

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks said bears can be found throughout the state and populations of grizzly bears have "expanded" in recent years.

"People venturing into the outdoors should 'Be Bear Aware,'" it said, urging members of the public who plan to trek Montana's outdoors to carry bear spray, travel in groups, avoid carcass sites and watch for signs of bears, among other safety suggestions.

The woman's death comes after an Arizona man, identified as Steven Jackson, was killed about a month ago.


The 66-year-old man was pulled off his property near Prescott, Ariz., and dragged some 75 yards by a bear, before a neighbor was able to shoot and kill the animal, on June 16.

Days earlier, a 35-year-old sheep herder camping in the Weminuche Wilderness near Colorado's Lemon Reservoir was severely injured in a bear attack.

The 8-year-old bear was then tracked and killed, officials said.

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