Yellowstone Grizzly Euthanized After Being Connected to 2 Dead Hikers

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Hiker Brian Matayoshi was hiking in Yellowstone, when he was killed by a grizzly sow. She was not tracked or tagged as she was a mother defending her two cubs in the attack on Matayoshi. Then hiker John Wallace turns up dead as well, and the same grizzly is associated with the area as the dead hiker. DNA from bear hair and piles of bear scat were enough evidence that the sow was in the area where Wallace died.

Yellowstone officials deemed it necessary to track down the sow and euthanize her. The two cubs were taken into confinement.

"We will more than likely never know what role, if any, the sow might have played in Mr. Wallace’s death due to the lack of witnesses and presence of multiple bears at the incident scene," said Superintendent Dan Wenk. "But because the DNA analysis indicates the same bear was present at the scene of both fatalities, we euthanized her to eliminate the risk of future interaction with Yellowstone visitors and staff."

Also in the area surrounding where Wallace was found were 2 bison carcasses that bears were feeding on, and 17 bear "daybeds." The investigation into what happened to Wallace and the bears will continue into the fall. From Yellowstone Insider.

Photo of Yellowstone grizzly bear -- not the killer -- courtesy of National Park Service.

Comments

hunter25's picture

It looks like the right

It looks like the right decision was made here to ensure the safety of everyone out there. If this is indeed the same bear from the previous attack it shows how hard it can be to make the right decision. We all agreed that the bear was just doing what was natural and should be allowed to live.  We will never know what prompted her to continue her actions but obviously it was time to end it. I can imagine the guilt of the person that allowed her to live after the first attack though. Hopefully this is the end of it and we won't see anymore attacks like we have been seeing this year for quite awhile into the future.

GooseHunter Jr's picture

My condolences go out to both

My condolences go out to both the family and friends of bboth the hikers.  I too thought that when they let her go after the first attack for doing what she is suppose to do in the wild by protercting her cubs, but it appears she may have developed a taste for human blood.  it is probably the best thing they could do by putting here down.  She may have taught her young cubs that is OK to attack anything that moves and then you have multiple bears out there that could potentially become very dangerous.

Ca_Vermonster's picture

Man, when I read the first

Man, when I read the first article, after she killed the one while "protecting her cubs", I remember thinking that it was an unfortunate incident, but that letting her go was the right thing to do.  Now she may have killed again, and I guess they had to be safe and kill her.

Sad for the bear, and sad for the families.  I just hope the family of the second hiker does not try to second guess the officials' handling of the grizzly after the first attack, thinking that it may have led to their family member being killed.  Just a sad situation all the way around, and unfortunately, it seems to be one that we are hearing more and more these days. 

 

Retired2hunt's picture

  My prayers go to the family

 

My prayers go to the family of the two hikers thad died from a bear mauling.  That is a terrible way of losing a loved one.

While there isn't any definitive evidence that this mother bear was involved in the mauling death of this second hiker, I too believe the Yellowstone officials made the right decision in euthanizing this sow.  Better to do this than have a third bear/human encounter (mauling situation) somewhere near this hiking area.  As for the cubs the park is keeping them in a wolf and grizzley discovery center so they will most likley live there in confinement for some time.  It is just too bad they may not live in the wild for their remaining life.

The park doesn't require permits for any "day hiking" - only for overnight stays so attaining some bear activity information at the park ranger's office may not happen.  They do close areas that have what is deemed excessive bear action and signs are also posted when necessary but evidently this area was not closed based on the determination of the first hiker's death.

If you do dig deep enough into the Yellowstone national park web site (yellowstone.net) you can find mention of information pertaining to having bear pepper spray on you as a tool for defense in case precautionary measures do not work and a bear charge is encountered.  The main national park service web site http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/backcountrytripplanner.htm does have a video on use of bear pepper spray.  I have included in case anyone wants to view it for future reference.

Bottom line - in my opinion people hiking in bear country (especially grizzly) must carry at minimum bear pepper spray as a defense mechanism.  I would add my sidearm as extra defense personally.

 

deerhunter30's picture

I think the authorities did

I think the authorities did the right thing in a bad situation. There is a good chance that this bear was indeed the one who did kill the two hikers. Even so, safety is what we need to look at. There was not a whole lot of evidence and maybe  no one did see it but it is something we just can not chance that when we have our kids and loved ones out there.

SGM's picture

Maybe she did maybe she did

Maybe she did maybe she did not kill him, could easily been a case of he was already dead and she ate part of him. Either way the officials sided on the side of safety which is hard to argue with. Glad to see the cubs were saved and sent to that refuge and  not killed. I guess the lesson to folks is not hike alone and take some bear spray and a pistol. I like having both while in grizzly country if for no other reason, peace of mind. I have also heard that old wives tail of animals getting the taste of humans. IMO that is BS, we probably taste bad with all the junk we eat. As for being easy prey, that one I can fully agree with.

numbnutz's picture

Its sad the bear had to be

Its sad the bear had to be put down but I can completly understand why. I have heard and dont know if its true or not but if a grizzly get the taste of human flesh it will crave it and becomes a man killer. Like i said Dont know if its true or not. If it is there would be reason enough to put the bear down. I wouldnt want it out there hunting people looking for a meal. its one thing to protect its cubs but to be eating man just because its hungry and we are pretty easy prey for those huge animal. Since they had evedence that the same bear was in the area on both deaths thats a little suspicous. Good for the authorities to make the right call on putting her down. I didnt see on what will happpen to her cubs though, hopefully they will be treated right.