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Autopsy Confirms Yellowstone Hiker Killed By Grizzly Bear

Grizzly bear, file photo.
Grizzly bear, file photo.

An autopsy has confirmed that a grizzly bear was responsible for the death of a hiker in Yellowstone National Park late last week. And, a second bear cub related to the incident has now been captured.

Killed in the attack was 63-year-old Lance Crosby of Billings, Montana, who worked for a park medical contractor.

Yellowstone National Park Spokeswoman Amy Bartlett:
"There was some question, perhaps could Mr. Crosby have died from some medical reason, and then the bear found him and fed on him. But autopsy results are showing that that’s not the case, that he was actually alive when the bear attack happened."

The adult female bear believed responsible for the attack was captured Saturday, and both of her cubs have now been captured as well. If DNA tests prove the adult bear was responsible for Crosby’s death, she’ll be euthanized. The park is trying to place the cubs in a zoo or zoos. If that effort fails, they will be killed as well.

Eric Whitney is NPR's Mountain West/Great Plains Bureau Chief, and was the former news director for Montana Public Radio.
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