Woman suffers burns after trying to rescue pet in Yellowstone National Park

Chased dog which went into Maiden’s Grave Spring

By: - October 5, 2021 2:08 pm

Maiden’s Grave Spring near the Firehole River in Yellowstone National Park (Photo by James St. John via Flickr | CC-BY-SA 2.0).

A 20-year-old woman was badly burned on her shoulders and feet as she tried to rescue her dog after it went into Maiden’s Grave Spring near the Firehole River in Yellowstone National Park on Monday.

According to park officials, when the woman, who is from Washington state, and her father got out of their vehicle to look around. As they did, the dog jumped out of the car and into the spring. The woman went after the dog, entered the spring to retrieve it. After the woman was in the spring, her father helped pull her out.

The father took his daughter to West Yellowstone, Montana. Yellowstone National Park rangers and the Hebgen Basin Rural Fire District provided care until the woman was transferred to the burn center at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.

The dog, which was also taken from the spring, was transported to a veterinarian and its status is currently unknown, park officials said.

The incident is currently under investigation, and since the woman was transported from the park, her status was not known by park officials.

The woman’s injury at Maiden’s Grave was the second major incident in less than a month. The other occurred on Sept. 16 at Old Faithful. There, a woman, a 19-year-old park concessionaire employee from Rhode Island, was injured early in the morning. She received second- and third-degree burns to five percent of her body. She was flown via air ambulance to the burn center at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.

Yellowstone National Park reminds visitors that pets must be physically controlled at all times and that they must be in a car, crate or on a leash no more than six feet long. They are not allowed on boardwalks, hiking trails, in the backcountry or in thermal areas.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Darrell Ehrlick
Darrell Ehrlick

Darrell Ehrlick is the editor-in-chief of the Daily Montanan, after leading his native state’s largest paper, The Billings Gazette. He is an award-winning journalist, author, historian and teacher, whose career has taken him to North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Utah, and Wyoming. With Darrell at the helm, the Gazette staff took Montana’s top newspaper award six times in seven years. Darrell's books include writing the historical chapters of “Billings Memories” Volumes I-III, and “It Happened in Minnesota.” He has taught journalism at Winona State University and Montana State University-Billings, and has served on the student publications board of the University of Wyoming.