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.