Yellowstone Grizzly Put Down After Bear Attack Kills Hiker Lance Crosby, But Bear Cubs Spared

Officials say they had a Yellowstone grizzly put down after the bear attack killed one hiker named Lance Crosby. The National Park Service says it confirmed the Yellowstone bear attack via DNA evidence, and they believed the situation required the female grizzly to be euthanized, but the bear cubs found near the scene were spared.

In a related report by the Inquisitr, a woman attacked by a Yellowstone bison says the goring happened when she turned her back for a selfie.

A week ago this Friday, Lance Crosby was found dead on a popular hiking trail within Yellowstone National Park. It is said that Crosby “had worked and lived in Yellowstone for five seasons and was an experienced hiker.” His body had defensive wounds, and DNA evidence helped identify the bears involved.

The National Park Service is still investigating the grizzly attack, but it was feared more than one grizzly bear was involved in the Yellowstone bear attack. The NPS says the “preliminary results show that he was attacked by at least one grizzly bear,” and Lance Crosby’s “body was found partially consumed and cached, or covered, and partial tracks at the scene indicate that an adult female grizzly and at least one cub-of-the-year were present and likely involved in the attack.”

Officials say the decision to have the Yellowstone grizzly put down was hard for them.

“The decision to euthanize a bear is one that we do not take lightly. As park managers, we are constantly working to strike a balance between the preservation of park resources and the safety of our park visitors and employees,” said Dan Wenk, superintendent of Yellowstone National Park. “Our decision is based on the totality of the circumstances in this unfortunate event. Yellowstone has had a grizzly bear management program since 1983. The primary goals of this program are to minimize bear-human interactions, prevent human-caused displacement of bears from prime food sources, and to decrease the risk of bear-caused human injuries.”

After considering the evidence, the Yellowstone National Park Service confirmed the adult female grizzly bear that was captured was indeed the culprit. The DNA evidence matched, and the canine puncture wounds inflicted on the victim were consistent with the bite size of the female captured at the site. The reason that the NPS decided to have the Yellowstone grizzly put down was because “[n]ormal defensive attacks by female bears defending their young do not involve consumption of the victim’s body,” and there was evidence the bear intended to return for more feeding.

“As managers of Yellowstone National Park, we balance the preservation of park resources with public safety,” said Wenk. “Our decision takes into account the facts of the case, the goals of the bear management program, and the long term viability of the grizzly bear population as a whole, rather than an individual bear.”

The bear cubs involved in the Yellowstone bear attack will be to a facility accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The facility is expected to make an announcement later today.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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