Experienced U.S. Hiker’s Body Found In Yellowstone National Park — Likely Killed By A Bear, Who Might Be Put Down

An experienced U.S. hiker’s body was found in Yellowstone National Park. Preliminary observations indicate he might have been attacked by a grizzly bear.

A hiker, who was extremely familiar with the Yellowstone National Park and presumably its wildlife, was found dead in the woods. Reported missing by his co-workers, his body was badly mauled and it had, what seems like, defensive wounds on the forearm, confirmed the National Park Service.

A park ranger, who was likely on the manhunt team to locate the hiker, discovered his body near Yellowstone’s Elephant Back Loop Trail, in the park’s Lake Village area. What’s concerning is that his body was found partially consumed and covered, reported ABC News. While bears can be carnivorous, it is deeply disturbing to note that the body was covered, most likely with foliage, possibly to prevent the odor from spreading and the body being discovered by rangers or other animals.

The exact cause of the death of the U.S. hiker isn’t known and an autopsy, scheduled on Monday, could shed more light on what killed an experienced trekker. However, the deep injuries on his forearms are indicative of a defensive stance against a large animal, most likely a bear, suspect park officials. The rangers added that there could be an adult female and at least one cub involved in the attack.

Bear traps have already been setup in the nearby regions. If the bear caught in the trap is proven to be behind the attack on the hiker, it will be euthanized, added Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk.

“We may not be able to conclusively determine the circumstances of this bear attack, but we will not risk public safety. We are deeply saddened by this tragedy and our hearts go out to the family and friends of the victim as they work to cope with the loss of someone who loved Yellowstone so very much.”

Though the identity of the hiker hasn’t been released, he was by no means a tourist. It is evident from the fact that the hiker from Montana was a long-term seasonal employee of Medcor, a company that operates three urgent care clinics in Yellowstone. The hiker had worked and lived in the Yellowstone National Park for five seasons, without any major incident, till this week.

While bears aren’t predators that routinely target humans, the circumstances are quite bizarre. Hopefully the autopsy and DNA evidence gathered from the scene might help indicate what exactly happened.

[Image Credit: Michael Smith / Getty Images]