July 18, 2019

Grizzly Bear kills man in Yellowstone National Park

File photo of Grizly Bear on the loose.

A man has been killed by a grizzly bear while hiking in Yellowstone National Park on Wednesday morning.

The man was hiking with his wife along the Wapiti Lake trail when they surprised a female bear with her cubs.

Instinct kicked in and the bear attacked and fatally wounded the man in an attempt to defend her cubs.

The alarm was raised by a group of nearby hikers heard the victim’s wife crying for help.

The name of the victim is being withheld at this stage until family has been informed.

All trails and back-country campsites have been closed until further notice. Park rangers are working to clear the area of all back-country users.

“It is extremely unfortunate that this couple’s trip into the Yellowstone backcountry has ended in tragedy,” said Dan Wenk, superintendent of Yellowstone National Park. “Our heart goes out to the family and friends of the victim as they work to cope with their loss.”

There have been no reports of bear encounters along or near the Wapiti Lake trail this season, but a bear warning sign was erected at the head of the trail because of known bear activity along access points.

This is the first bear-inflicted human fatality in Yellowstone since 1986. Bear attacks are extremely rare.

It has been mentioned in the media that bear pepper spray is an effective deterrent against aggressive bears. Newswarped would like to point out that getting close enough to spray the bear is the biggest obstacle facing the pepper spray user.

Most peoples first reaction is not to run towards an angry bear armed only with a little spray can. Bummer if you realised too late that you had grabbed the insect spray.