Part of a human foot in a shoe was discovered floating in a Yellowstone National Park hot spring, according to park officials.
An employee found the foot on Tuesday in the “Abyss Pool, located in the West Thumb Geyser Basin in the southern part of Yellowstone National Park.”
The discovery is believed to be linked to a death that occurred in the park on the morning of July 31, park officials stated on Friday.
Park law enforcement officers are still investigating the death and how it may have happened, but no foul play is suspected.
Following the announcement of the discovery, Maryland tourist Chris Quinn claimed he saw the foot floating in the Abyss Pool on August 11 and sent pictures of the shoe to park officials, the Associated Press (AP) reported. A park spokeswoman could not confirm if it was the same shoe the park employee discovered this week.
Park officials closed the West Thumb Geyser Basin and the parking lot following the discovery of the foot but have since reopened it.
The Abyss Pool is one of Yellowstone’s deepest hot springs, with a depth of more than 50 feet, the press release noted. Temperatures inside the pool can reach up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celsius).
The press release warned visitors to keep on the boardwalks and to “exercise extreme caution” around the hydrothermal areas.
There have been approximately 22 deaths related to thermal injuries at the park, according to park officials via the AP. The last recorded thermal death was a 23-year-old Oregon man who slipped and fell into a hot spring at Norris Geyser Basin.
In October, a woman suffered “significant thermal burns” after she attempted to rescue her dog, who entered Maiden’s Grave Spring. The dog did not survive.
Unprecedented flooding temporarily closed Yellowstone National Park in June. While the north and northeastern entrances still remain closed to traffic, the rest of the park is open.
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