Man Killed By Grizzly In Yellowstone

Yellowstone National Park, Bear Hunting Magazine

A man from California out on a hike with his wife in Yellowstone National Park's backcountry was killed by a female grizzly bear after the couple apparently surprised the bear and its cubs Wednesday, park officials released today. The woman was also attacked by the bear, but not seriously injured.

The attack was the first fatal bear mauling in the park since 1986. It appears that the attack was an attempt to defend a perceived threat to her cubs, the bear attacked and fatally wounded the man. Another group of hikers nearby heard the victim's wife crying out for help, and used a cell phone to call 911.

Investigators have been interviewing the woman about the bear attack, which took place on the Wapiti Lake Trail, close to Canyon Village and near the middle of the park. Yellowstone National Park authorities will not try to capture the female grizzly, a spokesman said earlier today, as they typically do not try to capture or remove a bear in what they call "a wildlife incident."

Park officials worked to clear the area of other hikers. All trails and backcountry campsites in the area have been closed and a warning sign has been posted on the trailhead. They plan to re-open the area in a few days.

Yellowstone and surrounding areas are home to at least 600 grizzlies with some estimates stating there are more than 1,000.

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