Couple watched bear before being attacked

A photo of the attacking bear taken by Brian before the couple started toward the Wapiti trailhead.

By ExploreBigSky editorial staff

A team of investigators has confirmed that a man who was killed on a hike in Yellowstone National Park in July saw the grizzly sow before being attacked

Brian Matayoshi, 58, and his wife were on their fourth trip to the Park and were hiking to a trailhead when they joined another park visitor who was watching the bear and two yearling cubs several hundred yards away.

The couple took pictures of the bears and continued on the one-mile hike to the Wapiti Lake trailhead, but the mosquitoes were bad and they turned back. The bear had left its initial area and came near the trail.

The Matayoshis turned around and walked back toward the Wapiti trailhead, but began running and yelling after the bear started to follow them. The bear chased and caught up with Brian before mauling. His wife, Marylyn, took refuge hiding under a downed tree. The bear then came and lifted her backpack before leaving the area.

The couple wasn’t carrying bear spray at the time of attack.

The cause of death hasn’t been confirmed because an autopsy wasn’t performed.