Hiker mauled to death by female Grizzly in Yellowstone National Park, in Wyoming

6:19 a.m. on July 7, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1,238 forum posts

Dateline: Wednesday, 06 July '11

A male hiker, who was hiking with his wife ... about a mile-&-a-half from the trailhead, happened upon a female Grizzly bear and her cubs.

The Grizzly attacked the man ... fatally mauling him.   The wife's frantic screams were heard by nearby hikers, who called for help via cell-phones.

Park rangers have not located the bear, and commented that what occurred was not unexpected behavior of the female Grizzly, perceiving a threat to her cubs.

________________________________________________________

                                       ~r2~

9:47 a.m. on July 7, 2011 (EDT)
TOP 10 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
3,597 reviewer rep
1,245 forum posts

Yep, bears can still eat you. 

I'm still more afraid of driving to work every day or eating one too many doughnuts.

2:14 p.m. on July 7, 2011 (EDT)
245 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts

Sad news,  but a risk that must be understood of hiking in bear country.  Not needing to be paranoid when walking outside the front door but be aware and possibly prepared.

5:31 p.m. on July 7, 2011 (EDT)
1,631 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

Momma bear+cubs= keep your distance

 I do feel that situations like this are quite sad and I feel grief for the loss the this gentlemans life.

At the same time I also feel bad that the bear will probably be eutanized due to this incident for what she felt as being a threat to the safety of her offspring.

Then again I may be wrong on the whole "euthanize" thing being that it is typical bear behavior and not a rogue act. 

All around this is a sad thing. My condolences go out to the family.

6:19 p.m. on July 7, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
586 forum posts

I sort of read between the lines that momma would go free. It was a natural act, as someone said.

8:09 p.m. on July 7, 2011 (EDT)
299 reviewer rep
141 forum posts

I feel very sorry for the family, and feel sometimes we think nothing can hurt us, but at the same time I wonder if making more noise on the trail could help or hurt.  When hiking on trails that I feel has large Black bear population I was told making more noise will help keep the bears away?  I would like to know if this is true or not, and if I have to use bear spray I think it's to late which I don't carry.  I read some of your comments on other topic's and I feel anyone that wants to hike should get The Complete Walker 4, which I have not read the bear section yet, but I know Fletcher and Rawlins will have good info.

9:40 p.m. on July 7, 2011 (EDT)
TOP 25 REVIEWER REVIEW CORPS
2,439 reviewer rep
1,298 forum posts

Rick, they decided not to shoot the bear.  female with her cubs, hasn't had other incidents, just did what she would do if anything seemed like a threat under the circumstances. 

10:54 p.m. on July 7, 2011 (EDT)
14 reviewer rep
318 forum posts

Another hiker without quick draw bear spray. Don't forget to get the big can of bear spray.

11:19 p.m. on July 7, 2011 (EDT)
1,631 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

Bear spray isn't a guarantee just a deterrent. It is definitely better to have it than not though in areas like this.

I am not sure that if ya get in between a sow and her cubs a gun is gonna do you any good let alone a can of spray. If a mother bear feels her offspring is in danger she will fight to the death to defend her young.

Then again I do not plan on testing the effectiveness of bear spray in a sitiuation like the one stated here. I have run into many bears in different areas of the country and I have not had a problem yet. I do carry spray if I am in grizzly country but not in the eastern states.

The best thing to do is be aware of your surroundings, and pay attention to everything around you. I have seen so many things happen to people just because they "forgot" where they were. If you see a bear, or a snake, or any other animal, respect their space and keep your distance. This is their home, you are just a visitor.

Also if setting camp take the necessary precautions to make sure your sleep is not rudely interrupted by a hungry bear looking for an easy meal and it just so happens that an empty food wrapper is in your vestibule. Bears can smell the slightest hint of food miles away and will make the trip to get it. Also I stress bear bagging in areas that bears frequent. I typically do it at least 50yds from my camp. I would do this no lower than 15ft off the ground just to be safe and on a branch that is at least 6ft+ from the the tree trunk itself because bears will climb trees for your granola bars.


106.jpg

Like I previously stated I am saddened by the loss of this gentlemans life but at the same time happy that rangers realized that this is in the bears nature as a mother and was not acting "out of character."

Oldman Mike- I will say that blackies are timid when compared to the brown, grizzlies, kodiaks, etc.

Typically if you cross paths with a blackie and make noise they will take off at a high rate of speed. I have heard stories of blackies "bluff rushing" people and actually stopping a short distance away and taking off in the other direction. Banging on pots & pans and things like this will typically cause black bears to tuck tail and run away.

Brown Bears are another story...

 

9:21 a.m. on July 8, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
74 forum posts

also when the bear did attack the man it was the 2nd time those 2 hikers startled the mother and cubs, the first time they came across the bears the bears took off running and the couple decided to keep hiking on the same trail and that is when they happened upon the same bears, i feel sorry for the loss as well but why would you not turn around when you spotted them the first time, that is just asking for trouble, when the bear saw them the 2nd time of course it thought that its cubs were threatened.

10:03 p.m. on July 8, 2011 (EDT)
245 reviewer rep
1,469 forum posts

I too hope this bear is left alone or at the most, relocated if judged to be necessary for some action.  When in bear country take the spray.

10:10 p.m. on July 8, 2011 (EDT)
17 reviewer rep
5 forum posts

When it comes down to you or the bear, you need to be able to take care of the situation (Any means necessary)

7:22 a.m. on July 9, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1,238 forum posts

Rick-Pittsburgh said:

Bear spray isn't a guarantee just a deterrent.

 Banging on pots & pans and things like this will typically cause black bears to tuck tail and run away.

 

Sooo ....   I should tote my Griswold?   Cast-iron makes kind of a "thud" or a "clunk".

Now ...  if I might be able to slam the Griz up-side of the head with a frying-pan ....

 'Course, at that close-proximity, it would be a moot point.  'Em are BIG critters !!  (the brown 'uns).

____________________________________________________________

                                            ~r2~

6:47 p.m. on July 9, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1,237 forum posts

Here is the latest artical regarding this incident:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-14057707

7:22 p.m. on July 9, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1,238 forum posts

A griz can weigh 6000 lbs ???

Good Grief !   Pepper spray ???   How 'bout a bazooka ?

_____________________________________________________________

                                                ~r2~

8:25 p.m. on July 9, 2011 (EDT)
1,631 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

A griz can weigh 6000 lbs ???

Good Grief !   Pepper spray ???   How 'bout a bazooka ?

_____________________________________________________________

                                                ~r2~

 

6000lbs? Maybe in prehistoric times. They get big but not that big. Lol

9:52 p.m. on July 9, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1,238 forum posts

What it says in the link Brian provided ....

10:36 p.m. on July 9, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1,237 forum posts

This is what I get when I look at the artical from the BBC, and I quote:

"Yellowstone National Park and the surrounding area in the north-western
United States are home to several hundred grizzly bears, which can weigh up to
600lb (270kg) and are a big tourist attraction."

Did I miss something.  Though I guess I'll have what you'all are having if it makes everything ten times it's normal size.

10:39 p.m. on July 9, 2011 (EDT)
12 reviewer rep
613 forum posts

The largest Grizzly I know of was just over 1600 lbs., shot in the '50s by a pilot in Alaska and the bears there and in that portion of BC adjacent to it are the largest, on average on Earth. This, is an absolutely HUGE bear, twice the weight of a really big interior mountain Grizzly and they grow to that size due to the easy supply of high quality food, as in salmon runs, forbs and berries.

There was one shot and weighed in northwestern BC in this general area by the BC Conservation Service several years ago, it was weighed at about 1200 lbs. and is now mounted in the airport at Smithers, BC. This, again, is a HUGE bear and half again as big as most big males, even in  salmon country.

I encountered an enormous one near Bulldog Lookout in August, 1974, alone and miles from any other human. I was unarmed and within ten yards of him and he would have weighed roughly 900 lbs. far and away the biggest I have ever seen and he looked about the size of a dumptruck in the early twilight.

The average mature male in interior BC will run about 600+ lbs, at denning time and the sows are much smaller and will go about 350-400 on average. However, these animals have a speed and strength that one has to see to believe and they are absolutely fearless. They will usually leave you alone and slowly move away if you encounter them, but, they ARE dangerous and should be avoided if possible. I love to watch them and have had dozens of encounters, I am totally nuts about bears and think that only Rottweilers are as neat as they are.

10:44 p.m. on July 9, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1,238 forum posts

Apparently, my eyes are not working well this evening.   Must have thought there was another "0" (zero).

My PC's monitor is roughly four-feet away from my face ... as I am polishing an old Martin Committee 'bone (Trombone), with a 1 ltr Nalgene bottle of homemade lemonade kinda hogging some of my work desk area.

10:46 p.m. on July 9, 2011 (EDT)
1,631 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

Yellowstone National Park and the surrounding area in the north-western United States are home to several hundred grizzly bears, which can weigh up to 600lb (270kg) and are a big tourist attraction.

Largest on record was a tad over 10' and around 1200lbs from what I have found while searching online.

http://www.bearlife.org/grizzly-bear.html

Dewey- I read about that 1600 pounder but from what else I got they said it was never confirmed.

As far as I am concerned once they are adolescents they are all big. :)

 

10:54 p.m. on July 9, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1,238 forum posts

I read somewhere, that if you see a Griz with a small-ish looking head, that usually means it is BIG.  (apparently, their heads are roughly all the same size).

True, Dewey ?

11:06 p.m. on July 9, 2011 (EDT)
12 reviewer rep
613 forum posts

The source for my comment concerning the weight of the largest Grizzlies, is Phil Shoemaker, Alaskan Master Guide and owner/operator of "Grizzly Skins of Alaska", based out of Wasilla, AK. Phil is my age, a Vietnam combat vet. and has lived in AK since the mid-'70s and is considered among the top hunting guides in that state.

I am always sceptical of any information on wildlife, due to the rigorous scientific training I received at college and my lifelong association with foresters and biologists, however, I trust his veracity completely. Salmon fed bears will grow to an amazing size and there are far more Grizzlies living in BC now, than when I started with the BCFS in 1965, although our human population has tripled.

I can delve into my bear research material here if anyone is really interested and I have seen some very big Grizzlies over the years, probably weighing well over 800 lbs, at the finish of the hyperphagic phase of their annual routine.

11:26 p.m. on July 9, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1,238 forum posts

Just for "poops-'n-grins" ... (talking about LARGE BEASTS) ... many years ago, I was walking from the Atlantic Ocean to my parked VW Bus, having just come out of the water, surfing.

The surfing spot was my favorite, "Ditch Plains", about 2-miles West of Montauk Point ... at the East end of Long Island, NY.

There seemed to be a bit of commotion among a few other surfers that were also loading their boards onto the roof-racks.

I sauntered over, and asked what was the "big deal".   They were all a-buzz about "a big shark" that was caught a couple hours earlier ... and, it was to be seen back at Gosman's Dock, in the Montauk Marina (where some of the scenes from "Jaws" were filmed, including this very dock).

Several of us wanted to see ... so, we drove back to Montauk (which was in the opposite direction I would have taken to go home).

Sure enough ... the big beast was hoisted up on a huge tackle-block on the docks.   A Great-White shark.   3200 pounds.

As these beasts can swim 20 - 50 miles in a day ... it likely was nearby where we surfed earlier.

A car weighs 3200 pounds.   The girth on that shark was incredible.   Easily 4 feet wide (not counting the lateral fins).

Scary.

________________________________________________________

                                                ~r2~

11:27 p.m. on July 9, 2011 (EDT)
1,631 reviewer rep
3,962 forum posts

I remember a movie I saw years back about this bear that was killing people... It took down a fire tower. I think it was called "Grizzly."

It was a completely fictional movie and totally far fetched but it kinda came to thought when I was thinkin about a 6000lb bear.

11:48 p.m. on July 9, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1,238 forum posts

Ah seen that !

That wouldn't have been "Smokey-the-Bear", would it, Rick ?

12:15 a.m. on July 10, 2011 (EDT)
12 reviewer rep
613 forum posts

I vaguely recall that movie.

Grizzlys are a serious concern on fire L/Os and towers, a couple of guys I worked with in the West Kootenays, in the '60s, were mauled while on duty and most of us had a few sudden encounters, usually at waterholes and sometimes at night. Yet, most of these bears just seem curious and are often calm, peaceful and just wander off if not harassed.

An old friend of mine, who now lives in Pennsylvania, was sitting on the steps of Kinbasket Lookout, in the "Big Bend" area of the Columbia River in S.E. BC one lovely summer afternoon and sort of dozed off for a few moments. He awoke to find a large Grizzly staring at him from mere yards away and he had the presence of mind to use his camera and take some photos. These were slides and I have seen them, back when this happened in 1970, quite the "Wakeup" experience!

12:18 a.m. on July 10, 2011 (EDT)
12 reviewer rep
613 forum posts

Robert Rowe said:

Ah seen that !

That wouldn't have been "Smokey-the-Bear", would it, Rick ?

 Well, no, Smokey was/is a Black Bear and they differ markedly from Grizzlies. Smokey is, alas, no longer an "icon" of the USFS or of municipal fire depts. as was the case for many years and now kids are taught utter bullcrap about bears, "the ecology" and many other related topics.

12:37 a.m. on July 10, 2011 (EDT)
0 reviewer rep
1,237 forum posts

 

Dewey said:

"I can delve into my bear research material here if anyone is really interested and I have seen some very big Grizzlies over the years, probably weighing well over 800 lbs, at the finish of the hyperphagic phase of their annual routine."

 

I for one would love to hear more of your stories and research about bears (and other cool animals) as I have never run into one in the wild.  The largest land animals I've run into are moose and bison.  From the sea would be sharks, orca's, marlin, grouper, and amber jack.  Though I've never seen a shark the size of the one Robert told us about.  The planet is truly full of living wonders.

 

12:49 p.m. on July 10, 2011 (EDT)
12 reviewer rep
613 forum posts

Rather than posting my anecdotal comments in great detail here as they are only MY experiences and opinions derived therefrom, I will suggest three books for you to obtain and thoroughly read. If, you do so, you will have the gist of contemporary "expert" opinions on Grizzlies and will understand how to approach any personal encounters with them that you may wish to initiate.

These are:

Grizzly Heart, by Charlie Russell, an unusual and highly opinionated man for whom I have tremendous respect.

Bear Attacks: Their Causes and Avoidance, by Stephen Herrero, get the SECOND edition. A useful and informative book by a serious scientist and sojourner in my home region. I knew him slightly, respect him and while I would question some of his points, I consider this a very worthwhile book.

Bear Encounter Survival Guide, by James Gary Shelton, the most practical bear defence and avoidance material in printed form that I know of. I would take issue with his political stance on environmental issues here in BC, however, he learned about Grizzlies from the same type of BC "oldtimer" that I did and he presents a blunt and realistic view of these animals and how to cope with them when hiking, etc.

These are all in "trade paper" and are the best place to start learning about bears and how to cope with them. HTH, this is a complex and utterly fascinating subject.

7:07 p.m. on August 27, 2011 (EDT)
299 reviewer rep
141 forum posts

Maybe bear attack?  http://news.yahoo.com/dead-hiker-found-yellowstone-205122190.html  I hope that the bears were just investigating the body.

3:10 a.m. on August 28, 2011 (EDT)
37 reviewer rep
140 forum posts

I just read on Yahoo about another hiker being killed by a bear (awaiting autopsy) at Yellowstone. The area hiked was closed to hikers for about 4 months and just reopened. Also, hikers were asked to be in groups, not solo. Story on Yahoo.

October 20, 2014
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

 
More Topics
This forum: Older: Dog deaths blamed on (blue-green) algae toxins Newer: Jackson Hole
All forums: Older: Urban bivouac'ing during Hurricane Irene -- What gear do you suggest to have on hand for "hunkering down" ?? Newer: An Introduction to Lightweight Backpacking