- (Photo: Yellowstone National Park)
Authorities investigating the death of a young girl in Yellowstone National Park have stated that the child died from a bullet fired from a pistol operated by her father.
The death was the first such incident in Yellowstone National Park since 1978 and occurred at the Grant Village campground on the shores of Yellowstone Lake.
Information has been slow to be released as investigators continue with their investigation, but reports did indicate that the girl's mother called emergency dispatchers on Saturday to report that her daughter had shot herself at the popular lakeside campsite.
Emergency personnel were unable to revive the toddler whose name is being withheld until Monday at the request of the family, who are from Idaho, park spokesman Al Nash said.
Park spokesman Al Nash revealed investigators had cordoned off the camp ground while park rangers and special park agents conducted an investigation.
"We don't have all of the information, and we haven't drawn any conclusions," Nash told The Associated Press.
This is also the first shooting death since a federal law went into effect on Feb. 22, 2010, that allowed visitors to carry firearms while in the park. Nash said records show two shooting deaths occurred in the park in 1978.
"Given the 3 million visitors we see here every year, there thankfully are very few fatalities reported in the park," Nash said. Nash added that heart attacks were the primary cause of human deaths in the park.
The park recently reported that through August, about 2.5 million people have visited the park.
Some areas of the park are within the borders of Wyoming, Idaho and Montana and the girl's death occurred in Wyoming meaning that park authorities have exclusive federal jurisdiction, given that park predates the formation of those states. Nash added that park agents work with local law enforcement during investigations.