Welcome! Log In Create A New Profile Recent Posts
Fern on the Four Mile Trail, Yosemite National Park

The Moon is Waxing Gibbous (88% of Full)

nordvpn


Advanced

Re: Montana Man Mauled By Grizzly Bear

All posts are those of the individual authors and the owner of this site does not endorse them. Content should be considered opinion and not fact until verified independently.

avatar Montana Man Mauled By Grizzly Bear
May 25, 2007 05:11PM
Yellowstone National Park
Montana Man Mauled By Grizzly Bear

Jim Cole, 57, a photographer and author from Bozeman, was injured during an encounter with a bear on the afternoon of Wednesday, May 23rd. Cole was taking photographs of bears along Trout Creek in Hayden Valley when he had an encounter with a grizzly. After being injured, Cole hiked from two to three miles east to the Grand Loop Road, where he was found by visitors around 1 p.m. Rangers and emergency medical personnel responded to the scene and treated Cole’s severe facial injuries. He told rangers that he had been attacked by a sow bear with a cub. He was taken by ambulance to West Yellowstone, Montana, then transferred to an Air Idaho helicopter and transported to Eastern Idaho Medical Center in Idaho Falls. Cole has published books on the lives of grizzly bears in Montana, Wyoming and Alaska. This is the second time Cole has been seriously hurt in a bear encounter – he walked out of the backcountry and took himself to the hospital after being injured by a grizzly in Glacier National Park in September 1993. There were no bear-caused human injuries in Yellowstone National Park during 2006, and there have been only eight minor injuries since 2000. The last bear-caused human fatality in the park occurred in 1986.
Re: Montana Man Mauled By Grizzly Bear
May 26, 2007 08:37PM
It appears tentatively that Cole was approaching too close to a mother and a cub by Trout Creek in Hayden Valley, Yellowstone, in order to obtain photographs. His camera and digital images have been secured to try find out what happened.

As of last night, he was in intensive care/critical condition and using a ventilator - we hope he recovers, and finally learns his lesson.

Right now there are apparently no plans to remove the mother bear, thank heavens, but this could have turned out much worse. It would have been tragic if either Cole or the bear(s) wound up dead.





Wilderness forever,
Bruce Jensen
avatar Re: Montana Man Mauled By Grizzly Bear
May 26, 2007 10:19PM
When I was in Yellowstone last time I was amazed (stunned?) by the number of very aggressive photographers. It was like being in an ad for Canon--long white lenses everywhere! They were often in the way and had no scruples about molesting the wildlife or trampling on the meadows. I was surprise the rangers tolerated such behavior.

avatar Re: Montana Man Mauled By Grizzly Bear
May 27, 2007 10:19AM
Isn't there a 100-yard rule around any bear or other potentially aggressive wildlife?

I'll probably regret the day I get too close to an angry pika...
avatar Re: Montana Man Mauled By Grizzly Bear
May 27, 2007 10:34AM
Vince wrote:

> Isn't there a 100-yard rule around any bear or other
> potentially aggressive wildlife?

If there is, nobody told the elk.

Re: Montana Man Mauled By Grizzly Bear
May 27, 2007 11:49AM
The rule at Yellowstone for *approaching* animals is 100 yards for bears, and 25 yards for any other animal. To the 100 rule I would usually add wolves - not because they are dangerous, but because they are so sensitive to human intrusion.

Then there is the general rule that if the animal takes notice of you, back off.

At times, it is OK if you are approached by other animals more closely than the rules. If some deer walk by or some elk or bison just meander along and you can be calm but visible without chancing a surprise to the critters, that's probably OK and not illegal. Often, rangers will allow people to remain stationary while bears come *much* closer, provided the people aren't acting irresponsible.

I doubt if anyone will mind you coming close to a marmot or pika as long as you keep your food and fingers to yourself. Bighorn sheep will often come up to you on Mt. Washburn and rifle through your pockets for granola bars.

The photographers at Y-stone can be terribly bad citizens. Both the animals and the other viewers deserve better treatment than some of the wackier people generally provide.





Wilderness forever,
Bruce Jensen
avatar Re: Montana Man Mauled By Grizzly Bear
May 27, 2007 04:22PM
bpnjensen wrote:

> The photographers at Y-stone can be terribly bad citizens.
> Both the animals and the other viewers deserve better treatment
> than some of the wackier people generally provide.

They were all over the meadows with the elk herds. This spoiled some photos that I would have taken from the reasonable distance. The only reason they weren't there molesting this one was the very cold river that they'd have to cross first:



Re: Montana Man Mauled By Grizzly Bear
May 27, 2007 06:42PM
bpnjensen wrote:
> The photographers at Y-stone can be terribly bad citizens.
> Both the animals and the other viewers deserve better treatment
> than some of the wackier people generally provide.
>

Not just at Yellowstone, or national parks for that matter. Some people just seem to think that a camera gives them some sort of priority or license to get in everybody's way.

While I'm a photographer myself, I usually try to fade into the woodwork and basically be out of the way and unnoticed. But I see others standing up in front of an audience at a performance to get a snapshot, and even the paid photogs getting in peoples' way.

I used to like to take a few pix at drag racing events, but the guardrail photogs have gotten so numerous and aggressive that they not only block any good photos, but everyone's view while they're at it...and stroll around casually as if it were some "right".
http://www.pbase.com/roberthouse/image/68375130

I'm slowly going through the new "Death in Yosemite" book and am amazed at how many of the deaths are caused by idiotic behavior regarding photos; either trying to lean over a waterfall to get a photo, or wading out in the river above a waterfall to get a tourist shot, losing their balance, and going down the river and over the falls.

I don't know the circumstances of this particular grizzly situation, but maybe he just got overconfident and pushed it over the line. Most of us don't really know what to do when an obnoxious photographer gets in the way, but I guess the grizzly knew exactly what to do 8^). If that's what happened, I hope they don't blame the grizzly.





Gary
Yosemite Photo Galleries: http://www.pbase.com/roberthouse/yo
Re: Montana Man Mauled By Grizzly Bear
May 27, 2007 11:29AM
Yeah.. that's the part of the rule that kind of makes me chuckle
avatar Re: Montana Man Mauled By Grizzly Bear
May 28, 2007 08:12PM
Grizzlies will kill you with little provocation and meat is in their food chain. I've backpacked in Denali NP and was constantly looking over my shoulder especially at meal time. There the rule is 200 feet between food canister storage and your tent and 200 feet from both of those to where you cook, and do not get food odors on the clothes you wear to bed. Next to grizzlies I would worry about polar bears more.





Old Dude
Re: Montana Man Mauled By Grizzly Bear
May 28, 2007 08:29PM
For what it is worth, actual "death by Grizzly" in Yellowstone is limited to less than one can count on two hands. For all their bad rep, over 100,000,000 visitors to Yellowstone have enjoyed the park without dying from grizzly attack or anything else. Only a few have bene attacked, and only about 6 or 7 have been verifiably killed.

Also, if one reads Death In Yellowstone, one will notice that practically nobody was attacked and killed because the grizz considered him a snack)although a bruin, once having dispatched the intruder, hates to waste anything useful ;-); rather, it was usually due to either very stupid/irresponsible behavior (like the camerabug who baited the bear with food to get that perfect shot) or because the bear with cub was surprised.

I think Mr. Cole's case was a combination of these two, with the latest scuttlebutt being that Cole somehow managed to insert himself between Momma and baby. Several other photographers have been safely and successfully photographing what appear to be this same pair this week in Hayden Valley, with no unfortunate effects.

Further, no group of three persons in Yellowstone has ever been attacked by a grizz; bluff charged, yes, but no physical contact.

Bison are statistically far more dangerous, at least in terms of people being harmed on an annual basis. Some of the most compelling videos I have seen are those shown at the Canyon visitor center featuring bison who have had just about enough of stupid people tricks.

In the final analysis, it is not hard to keep one's self safe from wild animals when hiking in Yellowstone; but it is also not hard to be reckless enough to endanger yourself or the animals. A little sense and respect go a long way.

I'd worry about polar bears ALOT more - to a great white bear, humans = seals = walrus = anything alive = food.





Wilderness forever,
Bruce Jensen
Re: Montana Man Mauled By Grizzly Bear
May 28, 2007 09:24PM
I've tried to reassure my mom that the chances of me getting killed by a bear are very slim. Her response was:

"But what a way to go!!"
Re: Photographers playing russian roulette
May 30, 2007 03:24PM
Cole claims he didn't approach the bear that nailed him, but what else can he say? Whether he approached the bear or not, he's been terribly injured and that's an awful thing for him, his family, and friends. Here's a letter to the editor that went out to a bunch of newspapers in Montana, Wyoming, Idaho.


Photographers playing Russian roulette with bears

There's a valuable safety lesson to be learned from Montana photographer Jim Cole's latest mishap with a grizzly--never approach bears. Whether you see a distant bear while you're hiking, or spot a bear nearby bear while you're driving along a road in Yellowstone Park, never approach bears. When you approach a bear, eventually you're going to encroach on the bruin's personal space and force it to fight or flee. In many cases, the bear will simply move away from you. But gambling that a bear will flee rather than fight is a bad bet. You're playing Russian roulette with a bear. It's a dangerous game, especially when you approach a female grizzly with cubs.

Over the years, an inordinate number of photographers in Yellowstone and Glacier National Park have been killed or injured by bears. I doubt if many of the photographers realized they were playing Russian roulette with bears. These incidents are unfortunate, but you can't blame the bears. When reading headlines about a "bear attack," remember that the bear was probably acting in self-defense. It was just defending itself from a person who accidentally provoked it.





support your right to arm bears
Re: Montana Man Mauled By Grizzly Bear
May 30, 2007 04:22PM
definition of inordinate: unusually or disproportionately large; excessive

does that really describe the amount of photographers in Yellowstone and Glacier that have been killed by bears?
avatar Re: Montana Man Mauled By Grizzly Bear
May 30, 2007 07:06PM
My take is that there should be zero attacks, maulings, or killings by bears in any national park. If you follow the rules of proper behavior around bears they will ignore you. The big problem is that we just don't know when an individual bear is going to have a slightly different tolerance level. What may have worked last year may bring a incident like this this year. Stay well outside the bears space and it won't be you.





Old Dude
Re: Montana Man Mauled By Grizzly Bear
May 31, 2007 10:39AM
Well, there *should* be zero deaths from any cause in national parks - after all, we're there for fun and recreation and education, not suicide.

However, nature is dangerous, and people being what they are, and with people coming in numbers that they do (100s of millions of visits annually), someone is bound to be bitten, mauled, burned, dessicated, dropped off a cliff, floated over a waterfall, drowned in an icy lake or killed by a heart attack while overexerting himself. It's the nature of the beast.

In Yellowstone, many clueless people (and some who already have a clue but ignore it, like Cole) approach animals constantly. It is not rare - I have seen hundreds of well-meaning but utterly goofy people put themselves within striking distance of a bison or elk, and bother the heck out of wolves and bears and moose. Not just animals, either - I watched in horror last year as a very silly lady hopped over a fence at the Upper Geyser Basin and walked right up to the absolute slippery edge of a large boiling pool of water, because she wanted a better look (surrounded by hundreds of easy-to-see similar pools, of course). And how many times have I watched people playing in the glacial pool just above Vernal Fall? It is mind-boggling how many people try to cheat death every day. It is almost as boggling that so many actually achieve another day of life afterwards. I am not surpised at all that at least a few (and it really is a *tiny* minority) end their lives in these beauitiful places.

Again, in all of Yellowstone's history, less than 10 people out of 300,000,000 have died from bear attacks. I think that's an exemplary safety record, and speaks volumes in favor of the self-restraint of the bruins.





Wilderness forever,
Bruce Jensen
Follow the rules and bears will ignore you?
May 31, 2007 08:45PM
Really? What rules? One common rule is to make noise when hiking in grizzly country. This might serve to prevent a surprise encounter at close range, because the bears will hear you coming and move away. Of course the bear isn't ignoring you, it's responding to your presence by moving away--probably from food it needs to survive. That raises ethical questions. Your safety is one issue. The bear's well being is another.

What other rules are you thinking of?





support your right to arm bears
avatar Re: Follow the rules and bears will ignore you?
May 31, 2007 10:12PM
arthur dogmeat wrote:

> One common rule is to make noise when hiking in grizzly country.

Which is something a wildlife photographer would avoid doing.

avatar Re: Follow the rules and bears will ignore you?
June 01, 2007 12:59AM
1. Don't approach a grizzly.
2. If while hiking you see a grizzly even at a distance of 100 to 200 yards veer away from the bear.
3. If you come across a carcass turn and move directly away from it and especially don't linger to examine it. If you smell it first then move away from the smell.
4. Make noise while hiking in brush. Talk with your partner or talk to yourself if solo. Bells can actually draw a grizzly to you as they can be curious about what the noise is. Voices they recognize as people.

In Denali you must watch a 40 minute video on bear safety and stream crossing before you can get a wilderness permit. Bear cans are mandatory and supplied for no charge there. I think the reason there have been so few grizzly problems in Denali is the education all the hikers get.

Sierra black bears aren't a problem if you have a canister. They are only after your food. A sow with cubs should be walked away from as soon as they are spotted. The sow will respond to anything she considers a threat.





Old Dude
avatar Re: Follow the rules and bears will ignore you?
June 01, 2007 02:32AM
mrcondron wrote:

> A sow with cubs should be
> walked away from as soon as they are spotted. The sow will
> respond to anything she considers a threat.

Sometimes a sow will respond. But black bears aren't always all the protective of their cubs. I chased one away that was trying to get my group's food and she returned 15 minutes later to retrieve the cub I didn't know was there. She never was agressive in the least.

avatar Re: Montana Man Mauled By Grizzly Bear
June 01, 2007 12:22PM
avatar Re: Montana Man Mauled By Grizzly Bear
June 01, 2007 10:30PM
This mamma black bear several years ago (2000) at the Minaret Falls campground brought her two cubs to raid a campsite carelessy laden with food. By the time they were through, a cooler was emptied of "lunchables" among the rest, a camera bag ripped open, a tent with another cooler ripped open, all while the owners of the property were gone for several hours frolicking in Mammoth instead of having fun at their campsite in the remote area down below.

Mamma bear as you see her in this photo went across to another campsite and munched on a can of Planters peanuts before she was scared away from that site with a guy throwing rocks.

However, the two cubs were gorged and decided to take a nap up a Jeffery Pine, about 50 feet up they balanced over a couple branches and caught some Zzzz's for about an hour and a half. Meanwhile, mom, chased away from her can of peanuts, curled up at the base of the tree where her cubs were (same tree that had the camera bag hanging from it) while curious other campers came to within 20 feet or so to take pix. Little ones learned lessons that day and probably many others.

It took Reds Meadow (who manages the campgrounds in the Devils Postpile area east of Yosemite) a few years to start installing bear lockers, last I heard breakins are less, but still people insist on storing food in their cars (you can sort of get away with that) or tents (don't!). The above photo supplied by eeek might show some ignorance by the park service, anthropomorphising wild animals to look cute and human like when they are not.

Here is mamma bear:



P.S. that year she tended to two cubs. Two years later she had THREE.

avatar Re: Montana Man Mauled By Grizzly Bear
June 02, 2007 01:00AM
A friend and I were camping one April in the Valley. While we were eating dinner (in the dark) she suddenly said "Bear!". I said, "where?" She said, "there!"

The bear was at the end of the table just sitting there watching us and waiting. I think he was waiting for us to notice and run away. Since I don't take that crap from black bears I chased him away. He grabbed a grocery bag and ran. Later, when I went to clean up his mess, I found out just what I managed to grab: one box of tampons. I don't think that bear was very happy with us winking smiley

On that same trip I observed a bear going around checking if car doors were locked. I chased her out of one minivan that she opened. That was a new one for me!

I've seen this bear several years in a row at the Yosemite Creek campground. He's been getting more aggressive every year but when I took this he ignored me and did his bear things while I shot pictures from the road:



Higher resolution versions:

http://yosemitephotos.net/main.php?g2_itemId=4069

Re: Montana Man Mauled By Grizzly Bear
June 03, 2007 08:52AM
"The above photo supplied by eeek might show some ignorance by the park service, anthropomorphising wild animals to look cute and human like when they are not."


That's not the park service.. That's Yogi Bear!!! I don't think they have Jellystone Park campgrounds in national parks smiling smiley

http://www.campjellystone.com/
Re: Montana Man Mauled By Grizzly Bear
June 02, 2007 12:38PM
Before long, the bears are going to be stealing car stereos.
avatar Re: Montana Man Mauled By Grizzly Bear
June 02, 2007 01:06PM
Why is the Yosemite NP web site so horribly updated under it's "Bear Facts" page? Last entry was May 19 and today is June 2.
avatar Re: Montana Man Mauled By Grizzly Bear
June 02, 2007 01:37PM
Ove Memorial Day weekend, I stayed in a FS campground in Tahoe. I put everything in my bear box, including my stove and pots. The neighbors had everything on the tables, including a huge jug of water that stayed there overnight. The typically kept the bear box open and used it as an open storage area during the day. If they did that in Yosemite, I have the suspicion that a bear would have tried sneaking to raid their food from their carelessly open box.

BTW - our boxes were different than others I've seen. They had a square nut and a key that's permanently attached to the door via a half-ring. I've heard that some animals have figured out how to press in the latches and some can even lift up those latches that have to be lifted.

avatar Re: Montana Man Mauled By Grizzly Bear
June 02, 2007 02:01PM
y_p_w wrote:

> Ove Memorial Day weekend, I stayed in a FS campground in Tahoe.
> I put everything in my bear box, including my stove and pots.
> The neighbors had everything on the tables, including a huge
> jug of water that stayed there overnight.

Even in Yosemite you can leave a jug of water out.

> The typically kept
> the bear box open and used it as an open storage area during
> the day. If they did that in Yosemite, I have the suspicion
> that a bear would have tried sneaking to raid their food from
> their carelessly open box.

In the Valley campgrounds the bears will do a run-n-snatch if you get very far away from your open bear box. Yosemite bears are definately smarter than your average bear.

avatar Re: Montana Man Mauled By Grizzly Bear
June 02, 2007 02:13PM
eeek wrote:

> Even in Yosemite you can leave a jug of water out.

It was one of those opaque, bright orange things. I could tell it was just water, but I'm not sure if a bear could. I guess the bigger problem in Tahoe is bears breaking into unoccupied vacation homes and raiding kitchens.

avatar Re: Montana Man Mauled By Grizzly Bear
June 02, 2007 04:20PM
Bears can be hunted in some FS lands so they might be a little more leery about getting close to live people.





Old Dude
Re: Montana Man Mauled By Grizzly Bear
June 04, 2007 05:39PM
y_p_w wrote:
> BTW - our boxes were different than others I've seen. They had
> a square nut and a key that's permanently attached to the door
> via a half-ring. I've heard that some animals have figured out
> how to press in the latches and some can even lift up those
> latches that have to be lifted.

Most of the boxes, at least at Upper Pines, have been converted to this type that you mention. I guess holding the key wrench is (at least for now) beyond the bears' capability, but it sure is easier for me. I don't know how many times I pinched something or whacked a finger on those infernal sliding rods and snaps on the older type...not to mention the noise when you get up at 5 and don't want to wake the neighbors.





Gary
Yosemite Photo Galleries: http://www.pbase.com/roberthouse/yo
avatar Re: Montana Man Mauled By Grizzly Bear
June 04, 2007 05:20PM
Ran into this photo on Google Earth, it's a panoramio photo out of Camp Curry (the poster of the pic misplaced it at 37:43:26.44N, 119:32:19.63W)

http://www.panoramio.com/photo/485080
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login