Grizzly Tied To Both Yellowstone Deaths

Yellowstone National Park, Bear Hunting Magazine

A 250-pound grizzly bear sow that fatally mauled a hiker in Yellowstone was killed after DNA evidence linked it to the scene of a second hiker's death a month later. Yellowstone National Park released this information on Monday.

The decision to euthanize the female grizzly was to protect park visitors and staff the release stated. The investigation does remain open and officials say they may never know definitively whether the same bear that killed a California male hiker on July 7 also took the life of a Michigan man in August. Evidence did show multiple bears, including the sow, were near the second mans body, but not if the sow made contact with him. After the DNA evidence linked the bear to both scenes, they captured the bear and euthanized it.

The deaths of the two men are the first blamed on a bear inside Yellowstone in a quarter-century. Two fatal maulings occurred just outside the park last year.

The two cubs that belonged to the sow were captured and relocated to the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone. More details are expected once the investigators complete their report into the attack, which is expected to take another month. Since the mauling, park officials have captured at least seven bears in the Hayden Valley area. DNA, tracks and other evidence from the scene showed at least nine bears were present around the general time of the second mans death, drawn by two nearby bison carcasses. All of the captured bears were radio collared and released.

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