Grizzly Bear That Charged Man in Yellowstone National Put Down By Rangers

A 4-year-old grizzly bear has been put down at Yellowstone National Park for a growing history of habituation to humans that was capped when he charged a man along the northern edge of Yellowstone Lake.

The boar weighed 258 pounds and had nearly 15 percent body fat, normal for this time of year, say park biologists, who killed the bear Monday.

For the past three years the grizzly had been "unsuccessfully hazed at least 25 times from the Lake Village, Bridge Bay Campground and Fishing Bridge developments," a park release said. "On July 30, the bear aggressively approached and then charged at a man sitting along the Storm Point Trail on the north edge of Yellowstone Lake.

"The man threw his pack at the bear, which stopped the bear’s charge. However, the bear then tore into the man’s pack and ate the food inside," the release continued.

The decision to put down the grizzly was based on its history of tying humans to food, repeated visits to developed areas in the park, and the numerous unsuccessful efforts to haze the bear.

"Efforts to relocate food-conditioned bears have also generally proven unsuccessful because the bears simply return to the areas from which they were removed," the park release said.

Park visitors are reminded to keep food, garbage, coolers and other attractants stored in hard-sided vehicles or bear-proof food storage boxes. This helps keep bears from becoming conditioned to human foods, and helps keep park visitors and their property safe.

Hikers in bear country are encouraged to travel in groups of three or more, carry bear pepper spray, make plenty of noise on the trail, and to be alert for the presence of bears. If a bear charges during a surprise encounter, stand your ground, do not run, and use your bear pepper spray.

Park regulations require that you to stay at least 100 yards away from black and grizzly bears at all times. The best defense against bear attacks is to stay a safe distance from bears and use your binoculars, spotting scope, or telephoto lens to get a closer look.

Comments

I see a growing number of "animals" being put down for infringing on human turf. Sorry, but, it was their turf first. People that are not using their heads cause the problems we are having. I don't want to see bears, cougars, coyotes, etc. killed because they are forced to forage closer to humans. We are the ones taking away their areas of hunting and foraging. I lend towards the animals in this case. think about it, if you were forced to forage in the wild and your food source was surely dwindling wouldn't you so things to survive. That is what is happening to the population of animals. I have encountered Grizzly's when hiking myself and they went their way and I and my friends went ours. Lucky, probably, but then we did not smell like food we were prepared in the event of an encounter, and knew what to do in the event of an attack. So many people venture into the woods and know absolutely nothing about the area, the animals and survival. They do stupid things and then the poor animal is killed because they have reacted. Not right. Sorry again.

Anonymous:
I don't want to see bears, cougars, coyotes, etc. killed because they are forced to forage closer to humans. We are the ones taking away their areas of hunting and foraging. I lend towards the animals in this case. think about it, if you were forced to forage in the wild and your food source was surely dwindling wouldn't you so things to survive. That is what is happening to the population of animals.
There aren't exactly a lack of natural food sources for these animals. The majority of bears in the area are living off of indigenous food sources. They're not forced to look for human food by any means.

What's likely happening is that one stumbles across some human food or sees another bear doing it and gives it a try. They find eating these calorie dense foods to be easier than foraging for berries, bugs, bark, catching fish, or hunting small animals. It takes less time/energy and thought. Mama bears teach the behavior to their young, and the cycle continues. I know in some of the NPS sites I've visited, the general thought is that only a small minority of the bears are the ones that venture into campgrounds looking for human foodstuffs.

I always get a laugh out of those who think humans are infringing on bear turf. In such a short time us humans have come to view natural surroundings as somehow alien. Humans and grizzlies have been occupying the same habitat for thousands of years. There's nothing more natural than a human killing a grizzly, ought to happen more often.

Anon wrote,
"Humans and grizzlies have been occupying the same habitat for thousands of years."
You must be joking, Anon. Grizzlies have lost 98% of their range in America.

It's only been in the last hundred years or so where the grizzly range was reduced to only tiny pockets outside of Canada and Alaska. It was probably more out of fear than anything else. It's my understanding that there were still grizzly bears in San Francisco as late as the early 1900s. It was humans killing grizzlies that led to the situation we're in now.

For that matter, the black bear range has also been severely reduced in the last hundred years or so.

Regardless of all this, I haven't heard that the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem has any problem supporting the number of bears that currently exist in the area. If a bear is looking for human foods, it's not because there's a lack of natural food from foraging and hunting.