Outdoors

Kayaker rescues hiker backing away from Yellowstone grizzly

A sign at the head of the Wapiti Trail in Yellowstone National Park warns visitors of bear danger on July 7, 2011 in Wyoming. Park officials closed this and surrounding trails after a grizzly sow killed a man who was hiking with his wife a mile and a half up the trail the day before. (Associated Press)
A sign at the head of the Wapiti Trail in Yellowstone National Park warns visitors of bear danger on July 7, 2011 in Wyoming. Park officials closed this and surrounding trails after a grizzly sow killed a man who was hiking with his wife a mile and a half up the trail the day before. (Associated Press)

WILDLIFE ENCOUNTERS —  An Oregon man visiting Yellowstone National Park with his family helped rescue a hiker who was being threatened by a bear on Friday just days after another grizzly attacked and killed a hiker in the park.

The rescue as he paddled his kayak to help her swim safely across the lake was captured on video and photos and presented in this KING 5 TV report.

While it might be an exaggeration that he saved the woman's life — the bear had no cubs to defend — Dave Beecham, 37, certainly defused the tension as he helped the woman escape from the approaching bear Friday at a remote lake in the park.

Park officials say backcountry visitors have been edgy since the story broke July 6 that a grizzly with two young cubs had killed a 57-year-old California man as he was hiking in the backcountry with his wife.

Park officials are encouraging backcountry hikers to carry pepper spray and have it ready for instant use, according to this ABC News video report on the bear attack.




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Rich Landers

Rich Landers’ Outdoors blog


Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.


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