Montana Public Radio

Black Bear Euthanized In Yellowstone After Encounter With Backpackers

Jul 15, 2020
Originally published on October 3, 2020 1:23 pm

Yellowstone National Park said July 15 officials recently euthanized a black bear after it bit a backpacker and On July 6, a black bear walked up to a backcountry campsite near the Hellroaring Trailhead where a group of five were sitting outside their tents.

Yellowstone’s press release says the bear bit the woman on her arm and head and nipped a child before walking over to the group’s food, which was on the ground.

Her injuries weren’t serious. Park officials say the woman received “bruises and minor abrasions,” but they decided to kill the adult female bear due to concerns that it could harm more people and because it received a food reward after its behavior, indicating it would likely do this again.

In 2019, park staff responded to multiple incidents with bears in campgrounds, backcountry campsites and along roadsides that had lost their fear of people and had become used to eating human food.

Yellowstone officials say black bear attacks on people in the park are very rare and occur about once in every seven years.

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