Yellowstone grizzly bear involved in attacks euthanized

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Authorities in Yellowstone National Park have linked a grizzly sow they captured last week to two fatal maulings this summer and killed the bear Sunday, the park announced Monday.

The grizzly’s two cubs, which were captured Sept. 29, were placed in a wildlife facility in West Yellowstone, Mont.


Park officials said that adult bears do not adapt well to captivity, whereas cubs may.

Genetic testing indicated that the female bear was responsible for the death of hiker Brian Matayoshi of Torrance on July 6 and that the 250-pound sow was present at the scene of a fatal attack on hiker John Wallace in August.

In the July incident park officials determined that the sow had been defending her cubs when she attacked Matayoshi and his wife on the Wapiti lake Trail. In that case, even if authorities had immediately found the bear they would not have killed it, since it had no history of interaction with humans.

And, even though the grizzly was one of nine bears in the area where Wallace’s body was found, Yellowstone Superintendent Dan Wenk said the sow was euthanized to ‘eliminate the risk of future interaction with Yellowstone visitors and staff.’


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-- Julie Cart