Bears confirmed as those involved in fatal campground rampage near Yellowstone; female adult euthanized, cubs to be sent to zoo
A grizzly bear and her three cubs captured have been confirmed as those responsible for killing one person and injuring two after rampaging through a campground near Yellowstone National Park early Wednesday morning.
Bear hair, saliva and tissue samples collected by investigators and tested by a DNA identification lab in Laramie, Wyo., confirmed that the captured adult bear was responsible for the attack. Additional forensic evidence supported this conclusion.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks officials said Friday the female grizzly was euthanized, but the bear’s yearling cubs will be sent to a zoo as soon as possible.
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks supervisor Pat Flowers, in Bozeman, said based on the circumstances of the three separate attacks on sleeping campers, and following discussions with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the adult bear was euthanized.
Under Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee Guidelines, an agreement among eight state and federal agencies, it is advised that grizzly bears that display unprovoked aggressive behavior toward humans, or that cause substantial human injury, including loss of human life, be removed from the population.
An autopsy will be performed on the bear, to see if it can be determined what caused the animal attack.
"We want to find out if the unusual predatory behavior of this bear on humans is related to any physical condition or ailment," said Chris Servheen, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's grizzly bear recovery coordinator. "We will perform an autopsy on this bear because this is the only way to determine this."
-- Kelly Burgess
Photo: The captured grizzly sow responsible for the mauling death of one camper and injuries to two others near Yellowstone National Park in Montana. DNA tests confirmed the bear was the one responsible for the attacks and it was euthanized. Credit: Associated Press / Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks