63-Year-Old Montana Man ID’d as Experienced Hiker Mauled by Grizzly Bear

11 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Grizzly suspected of killing Yellowstone hiker has been caught, will likely be euthanized.

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. (AP) — The National Park Service says a Montana man found dead in Yellowstone National Park was the victim of a grizzly bear attack. Wildlife biologists captured the bear over the weekend using a bear trap, Julena Campbell, a Yellowstone spokeswoman, told The Washington Post on Monday.

It was the park’s first fatal grizzly mauling since 1986, but the third in the Yellowstone region in just over a year. [JIM URQUHART | AP] BILLINGS, Mont. Yellowstone spokeswoman Julena Campbell told USA TODAY a female grizzly bear was caught early Saturday morning after rangers set up traps in the area hours after finding the victim’s body Friday. Campbell said investigators are now trying to determine whether the female grizzly was involved in the fatal attack by comparing DNA samples and paw tracks to those taken from the scene and looking for signs of human remains in the animal’s waste. “Fortunately, these kind of incidents don’t happen that often,” she said. “There’s not a lot of evidence to show that it is necessarily a learned behavior, but it can be.

A park ranger found him “partially consumed” a half-mile from the Elephant Back Loop Trail in a “popular off-trail area he was known to frequent,” the statement said. Crosby was the sixth person killed since 2010 by grizzlies in the greater Yellowstone area, which has an estimated 750 grizzlies and includes the park and surrounding portions of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. But relatively few lead to death or injury, and park officials say the risk of being attacked by a bear is comparable to the chances of being struck by lightning. The cub, if captured, could be killed or adopted by a zoo or rehabilitation center. “At this point in time, I have no knowledge that it could have been avoided,” Wenk said. “He was in an area that’s frequently used, a popular area that people went to. It’s not like he was bushwhacking through the forest.” The victim’s family said through a park spokeswoman that they had no plans to release any statements or conduct interviews and asked that all media request be directed to park officials.

Yellowstone receives more than 3 million visits a year from tourists who journey from around the world to view its geysers and other thermal features and abundant wildlife. Hikers who enter backcountry areas are advised to stay on trails, travel in groups of three or more and carry mace-like bear spray in case of an encounter. “It’s an individual’s personal choice to carry bear spray. It’s something we highly recommend because it has been shown to be an effective deterrent in the case of a bear charge,” park spokeswoman Amy Bartlett said.

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