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Bear Attack Investigation Continues

Bear Warning

A 57-year-old visitor to Yellowstone National Park has died during an encounter with a grizzly bear Wednesday morning.  Park Spokesman Al Nash says the incident occurred on the Wapiti Lake trail, located east of the Grand Loop Road just south of Canyon Village.  Nash says the husband and wife couple had traveled about a mile and a half in on the trail Wednesday morning when they surprised a bear, probably a grizzly sow with cubs.  Nash says the couple apparently saw the bear, continued hiking, and the next time they saw the bear was when it was coming at them.  The unidentified man told his wife to run.  He died in the attack, and then the bear came after her.  She hit the ground, and the bear picked her up by her day-pack and threw her back to the ground. Sometime during the attack, the man was fatally injured by the bear. Park rangers are currently investigating the circumstances surrounding the attack. Nash says all indications are that the bear’s attack was defensive for what it perceived as a threat to her cubs.  Nash says rangers are not anticipating action against the bear at this time. Meanwhile, Nash says the area has been closed to hikers and the south rim drive was also closed after the incident.  At the same time, park visitors continue to be warned of the high bear activity throughout the park this year. The name and hometown of the victim continue to be withheld pending notification of family members.  This marks the first fatality caused by a bear in the park since 1986.

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