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Habituated Yellowstone Grizzly Bear Euthanized

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Date: August 2, 2011

National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior

Yellowstone National Park
P.O. Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190
August 2, 2011  11-083    
Al Nash or Dan Hottle (307) 344-2015


Habituated Yellowstone Grizzly Bear Euthanized

An aggressive, habituated grizzly bear conditioned to human foods was captured and euthanized by Yellowstone National Park staff on Monday morning, 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. The sub-adult male bear was healthy and had 14.8% body fat, normal for this time of year.

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. This helps keep bears from becoming conditioned to human foods, and helps keep park visitors and their property safe.

Hikers in bear country are encouraged to travel in groups of three or more, carry bear pepper 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 you to 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 and use your binoculars, spotting scope, or telephoto lens to get a closer look.

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

- www.nps.gov/yell -

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