Yellowstone Grizzly That Killed Hiker Put Down

a bear walking on dirt
Not the bear that was put down

Yesterday I wrote about an interesting question about bear attacks in the wild.

The post was written due to the recent tragic death of a hiker killed by a grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park last week. It was stated that deadly encounters between bears and humans in the park was rare.

After a bear and her cubs were caught close to where the man’s remains were found, (depending on DNA tests) the bear would be put down if it was the one that killed the man.

Is it fair that a bear living in its own habitat, the wild is being held responsible for acting like a wild bear? Well that depends.

Well soon after I published my post, I came across a tweet from Outside Magazine stating that the accused bear had been put down.

A comment on my post from omatravel mentioned that “CNN is reporting they euthanized the mother bear because the attack and what happened after was more than self-defense. They’ll attempt to send the Cubs to a zoo. I think in this case they were justified in killing the bear due to the possibility of the bear attacking another person“.

I did a quick search and found the CNN article (it was also linked to in the Outside Magazine article update!) and have to agree here with omatravel but still am a bit torn.

CNN mentions that the “grizzly bear was euthanized after an autopsy confirmed she killed the hiker in Yellowstone National Park“.

The autopsy results confirmed that the hiker died due to injuries caused by the grizzly bear and didn’t die prior to the bear crossing paths with him. Evidence also showed the female grizzly to be his attacker.

When bears attack/ kill humans in parks, the animal is not always put down. According to Yahoo, “If a grizzly hurts someone while acting in a naturally aggressive way, then the bear goes free. If a grizzly acts unnaturally aggressive, though, and injures a person, it must be euthanized“.

So why was the female grizzly from Yellowstone put down? It turns out that the bear ate a large portion of the man’s body and hid the rest to come back for later on. CNN mentions that “normal defensive attacks by female bears defending their young do not involve consumption of the victim’s body“.

I had first read that the two cubs would also have to be put down if the mother bear was but now it is reported that they will be “transferred to a facility accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums“.

The trail and other areas close to where the hiker was found has been closed since he was found on August 7. It was to reopen today, August 14.

Find out more from CNN here.

8 thoughts on “Yellowstone Grizzly That Killed Hiker Put Down

  1. Caro- That is your right to disagree and I am glad that you shared your thoughts here. I do hear where you’re coming from… I did read about the recs of traveling in groups and having bear spray etc… Maybe those precautions would’ve prevented the attack.

    Wendy- That is definitely good to hear. The original report was that they might be put down too.

    Ralf- The autopsy was on the man and those results and I believe hairs from the bear by the man’s body confirmed she was the killer.

  2. Huh…euthanized after an autopsy confirmed she killed the hiker?

    So, they put her down first without having confirmed she killed the hiker. Seems like a medieval trial: if you drown, not guilty. If you don’t drown, you are guilty and will also be sentenced to death.

    Euthanized after a post mortem….so, they killed her twice?

  3. The cubs from Yellowstone National Park grizzly bear that was euthanized. Are coming to the Toledo Zoo. Just saw the story on the morning news.

  4. Andy- Why would I moderate your comment? I am guessing that you don’t read my blog. I am a parent. Lucas is 3.5 years old and has over 100 flights under his belt!

    The point of my other post (maybe you missed it) was that the wild is the home of these animals and that maybe a bear was just being a wild bear when attacking the hiker.
    She may have also been protecting her cubs. However, upon reading more into it and like I stated above, a mother bear protecting her cubs doesn’t tend to consume the person and hide the rest of the remains to come back for more later on.

    Yes, the wild is the home of bears but Yellowstone is also a heavily trafficked park by people. As much as I love animals, people need to be protected from danger too. If the park’s investigation determined that the bear “acted unnaturally aggressive” then they had protocol to follow, too bad it cost this bear her life.

    1. Disagree. People need to protect THEMSELVES from danger when in a wild environment. This isn’t Disney. And, according to the article, ” park officials strongly encourage hikers to travel in groups of three or more,” something not adhered to in this situation. (The article doesn’t mention the hiker’s possession of bear spray, nor can we know whether he intentionally made a lot of noise while hiking, although solitary hikers don’t, in my experience.)

      I don’t care what the bear did with the body.

      The more people enjoy a wilderness area, the more there will be wildlife/human encounters, and IMO it’s incumbent upon the humans in an environment that is not habitually theirs (ocean, wilderness lands, etc) to take responsibility for protecting themselves.

      To be clear, I am completely against the use of guns in these areas as following basic (and in this case, widely published) precautions like hiking in groups, etc., is usually sufficient.

      If in this situation the hiker had been in a group, the group had been making noise, and there was an attempt to use bear spray which the bear ignored, and still attacked, then my opinion would differ.

  5. Ok Michael…. I actually thought you wouldn’t have the balls to moderate my comment, so thank you.

    But seriously… Do you think this was a rogue bear? A crazy murderer? She was probably protecting her cubs. A mother. If you were a parent you might understand.

    This is her habitat. Her land, her home. How dare we venture in animal’s home, and take it for our own.

    This may come as a shock to you and some others. This is not only our planet. It belongs to millions of species. Most were here long before us. Im not a tree hugger hippy, Im actually an airline pilot my trade, married with a 3 year old, and I despair for this planet.

    Sigh….I doubt you can process this, but I hope you can.

  6. Andy- I’m kind of torn with this matter. Generally speaking, I don’t feel a bear in the wild should be put down for a negative interaction with a person. However, the article mentions how a mother bear protecting her cubs does not involve the comsumption of the person. I’ve also read that when a bear does this to a person they are more likely to do it again. Although Yellowstone is the bear’s home, many people do visit the park. I’d hate to hear of the same bear doing this to another person in the future.

  7. You agree that an animal should be put down? I seriously doubt it was a psychotic creature hell bend on murder.

    What is wrong with narcissistic people? We share this planet. We are not all that matters. Look at the disgraceful lack of regard for animals. The pain, the insane torture, and the wrong we put them through by the thousands on a minute by minute basis.

    No… The bear existing in his own habitat, should not have been captured and destroyed.

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