Thursday, July 7, 2011

Grizzly Bear Kills Man at Yellowstone National Park

Grizzly Bear Kills Man
A grizzly bear killed a 57-year-old man hiking in Yellowstone National Park with his wife Wednesday. It's the first fatal bear mauling in the park since 1986, the AP reports.

Remote campgrounds and trails near the scene of the attack, close to Canyon village in the middle of Yellowstone National Park, have been closed following the tragic incident.

The mauling comes a week after Yellowstone's peak tourism weekend.

​In the first fatal bear-to-human mauling in Yellowstone National Park since 1986, a female grizzly has killed a 57-year-old man who was hiking with his wife and stumbled upon the bear and her cubs. The attack occurred close to Canyon Village, in the middle of the park, and remote campgrounds and trails near the scene have been closed, reports the Washington Post, with officials warning hikers to stay away -- though at the same time, explaining that the likelihood of such an incident happening again is small (still, this is the third bear mauling in the region in a year).

Reuters reports that a group of nearby hikers used a cell phone to call a park ranger for assistance after they heard the victim's wife crying out for help.

A National Park Service statement said the couple surprised the mother grizzly while with her cubs, and that the grizzly fatally mauled the man in "an attempt to defend a perceived threat to her cubs."

The couple had apparently seen the bear twice on the hike. The second time, the bear charged, defending against a perceived threat, and the man told his wife to run. She didn't see the bear attack her husband, but she was picked up by the bear by the day pack she was wearing, and then dropped. Her injuries were minimal.

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