According to a post on the Custer Gallatin National Forest Facebook page, officials have called for an emergency closure of Bakers Hole Campground near West Yellowstone after reports of a bear mauling.

The emergency closure of all Custer Gallatin National Forest System lands from the boundary of the town of West Yellowstone heading north to the Transfer Station Road #6794 and east of Highway 191 to the Yellowstone National Park boundary is effective immediately, according to the Custer Gallatin National Forest.

On Thursday, April 15, 2021, at approximately 3:42 p.m., Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, Forest Service, West Yellowstone Police Department & Hebgen Basin Fire & EMS responded to a report of a grizzly bear attack on an individual near Bakers Hole Campground area. Law Enforcement teams were able to locate the injured party after approximately 50 minutes of off-trail searching. The individual had sustained significant scalp and facial injuries.

Gallatin County Sheriff Search & Rescue responded on snowmobile with a rescue toboggan to an area approximately 70 yards away. The patient was able to be transported by volunteers to the toboggan, then taken by snowmobile to a nearby ambulance. Hebgen Basin Fire Department EMS crews then transported the patient to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center for further medical treatment. The Forest Service and Fish Wildlife and Parks are investigating the incident.

Baker’s Hole Campground is currently closed for winter. The closure includes Boundary Trail.

The species of the bear involved has not been confirmed. This is a developing story. More information will be provided as it becomes available.

Bears don't like surprises, and precautions are needed for your safety while in bear country.

Here's some great advice from the Custer Gallatin National Forest website.

  • Hike during daylight hours and carry bear spray.
  • Make lots of noise – bears will avoid people and leave an area when they know people are present. Use extra caution when visibility or hearing is limited.
  • Hike in a group. Recommended at least four people per group in Grizzly country.
  • Watch for bear signs such as fresh tracks, scat, torn apart logs and partially consumed or buried animal carcasses.
  • Never approach a bear.
  • If a bear approaches you, slowly back away and maintain a safe distance.

For more information about bear safety, click here.

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