August 10, 2011 Posted by Emily in Local, Montana, News, Outdoors, Regional, Yellowstone
Click to share thisClick to share this

Habituated Yellowstone grizzly bear euthanized

An aggressive, habituated grizzly bear conditioned to human foods was captured and euthanized by Yellowstone National Park staff on August 1.


For the past three years, the 4-year-old, 258-pound male bear had been unsuccessfully hazed at least 25 times from the Lake Village, Bridge Bay Campground and Fishing Bridge developments. On July 30, the bear aggressively approached and then charged at a man sitting along the Storm Point Trail on the north edge of Yellowstone Lake.


The man threw his pack at the bear, which stopped the bear’s charge. However, the bear then tore into the man’s pack and ate the food inside.


Due to the bear’s history of associating people with food, repeated visitation to developed areas within the park and numerous unsuccessful hazing attempts, the bear posed a threat to the safety of park visitors. Efforts to relocate food-conditioned bears have also generally proven unsuccessful because the bears simply return to the areas from which they were removed.


Park visitors are reminded to keep food, garbage, coolers and other attractants stored in hard-sided vehicles or bear-proof food storage boxes.


Hikers in bear country are encouraged to travel in groups of three or more, carry bear spray, make plenty of noise on the trail, and to be alert for the presence of bears.  If a bear charges during a surprise encounter, stand your ground, do not run, and use your bear pepper spray.


Park regulations require that people stay at least 100 yards away from black and grizzly bears at all times.  The best defense against bear attacks is to stay a safe distance from bears.


Bear sightings should be reported to the nearest visitor center or ranger station as soon as possible.