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Bears confirmed as those involved in fatal campground rampage near Yellowstone; female adult euthanized, cubs to be sent to zoo

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. 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."

The Soda Butte campground, and nearby Chief Joseph and Colter campgrounds, also in the Gallatin National Forest, remain closed.

-- 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


Grizzly bear and cubs captured after fatal campground attack near Yellowstone

One person killed, two injured after bear rampages through campground near Yellowstone

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Comments (7)

What an insane world we live in when so many arm-chair "naturalists" on this and other sites , can kick back and blithely say, "Sure, let the bears eat people whose only crime was wanting to enjoy nature."

So, how about Elora Petrasek--the 6-year-old little girl who was killed by a bear in Tennessee a few years ago? Nothing wrong with that in your eyes?

Or 93-year-old Adelia Maestras Trujillo, who was savagely mauled to death in her own home when a bear broke in?

Or 5-month-old, Ester Schwimmer, who was snatched from a stroller on the front porch of her Fallsburg, New York residence and killed in front of her horrified parents?

I suppose they were "Just in the wrong place at the wrong time?" I'm sure a few you will say, "Oh, well, that's different." No it isn't. It doesn't matter where someone is murdered. What matters is that steps are taken to make certain the murderer doesn't strike again. And no, the attacks did NOT take place inside Yellowstone Park.

You can't simply trap a killer bear and move it. Bears are territorial. "Problem" bears have been trapped multiple times near the same spot they have been trapped before after being transported far out into the wilderness; they simply return "home." Trapping and relocating is not a solution for killer bears. Put them in a zoo? Quite a threat to the workers who have to take care of them and clean up their areas and maintain the bear's health, wouldn't you say? Would you want your daughter taking care of a bear who had killed someone else's son or daughter?

So, it's alright, in your eyes for a mother bear to kill a human whom she, (mistakenly), believes a threat to her family, yet it isn't alright for humans to do the same?

You justify your warped delusions with irrevelant, soulless, statistics such as, "there are x number of humans, and y number of bears, therefore, humans are the problem," as if that somehow makes things hunky-dory.

Well, if those statistics bother you so much, I suggest that you do something about it and stop breeding. Those of us who remain sane and harbor a love for our own species and children, instead of a demented, bitter hatred, would prefer it if you didn't.

Seems a little harsh doesn't it? Why maybe talking to the bear would have helped or maybe therapy. Certainly the bear can't be expected to be responsible for it's actions. The people in the US never are expected to so why the bear? I think i smell some prejudice here.. Ya know the bear only came here to find a better life!! Commies!


I would like to say that the Yellowstone National Park is a refuge for wildlife, not human life. If you enter a hazardous area and you ignore the associated risks then you must suffer the consequences. I feel for the loss of human life but I also care about nature. Mankind has no problems destroying Mother Nature to suit their needs.
The grizzly bear was most likely in the defensive mode, since she had young, so why euthanize her when she was just doing what any Mother would have done, providing food and protection for her cubs.
When a human being commits murder, he or she is not executed for their crimes, they are sent to prison or put on death row for a number of years, costing the tax payers thousands of dollars. In my opinion these people are not animals they are monsters, so why are they allowed to live.
I believe the wildlife fish and game commission seriously need to reconsider the whole camping issue.

I just wanted to clarify that it's probably hundreds of thousands of campers in areas where bears live in the US. While the grizzly habitat is fairly limited these days, black bears are everywhere, including LA County. Duarte has issues with bears breaking into trash cans looking for discarded food; I don't imagine there's much talk of keeping people out of populated cities where bears might visit. However - reports on human injuries from bears are rare. When they happen, it becomes big news.

Black bears seem to be responsible for more predatory attacks than grizzlies. Grizzlies seem to be more likely to be involved in defensive attacks. Even so, there are bears living amongst human populations.

@Jon R.

Clearly you aren't that avid of a camper considering the below statement is patently untrue. Tens of thousands of backpackers, campers, and outdoorsmen traverse bear country- safely - every year. Its extremely rare that a bear attacks unprovoked and euthanizing one bear that has shown unprovoked aggressiveness towards humans will have absolutely zero affect on the total grizzly bear population (which has been doing extremely well in recent years) . Its actually proven to a solid conservation practice by removing problems bears and preventing them from teaching other bears similar practicies (monkey-see monkey-do)

Like any activity in any area (be it running in a city or hiking in the woods) there are certain risks you assume. One shouldn't assume because of one tragedy everyone should stop enjoying National treasures like Yellowstone, Glacier, and Teton National Parks (aka - Grizzly Bear Hot-Spots)

The number one rule is be smart and be safe. Hiking in bear country can be extremely rewarding and a chance encounter with one of these animals should be treasured. People should take this as a lesson to double check their safety procedures and be extra-careful, not avoid the areas outright.

Hike Safe LA.

Just google or wikipedia "fatal bear attacks".
Just as many people have been killed in the past 10 years by BLACK bears as by grizzly/brown bears, and in some very established camping areas.
Most bears avoid humans, that's good for both species.
When bears lose their fear of humans and associate them with food, that bear must be removed from the gene pool.
Every square mile of North America is bear habitat.

WHY are people allowed to tent camp in areas where bears are well-known to inhabit??? I speak as an avid camper when I say that Rule #1 of tent camping is to AVOID places where bears live. To a hungry bear a person sleeping in a tent must appear like a soft, plump, defenseless burrito. So of course they put this bear down, and eventually there will be no wild grizzlies left in the continental U.S. except in zoos. Is that what these people want? I feel bad for them, but they should know better. That's what separates us from bears and other wild creatures--we should know better. Why does Yellowstone Park allow people to tent camp where bears live?


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Outposts' primary contributor is Kelly Burgess.