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Re: Surprised grizzly sow kills man in Yellowstone

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avatar Surprised grizzly sow kills man in Yellowstone
July 06, 2011 04:25PM
Man killed by grizzly in Yellowstone
http://www.codyenterprise.com/article_5d0ebc52-a823-11e0-928d-001cc4c002e0.html

Apparently the first fatality from a bear since 1986. I've hiked solo in the Canyon area before. The advice the ranger gave me the day before was to make a good deal of noise when going around corners where I might not be too visible. Usually the bears will avoid people.
avatar Yellowstone Visitor Killed By Grizzly Bear
July 06, 2011 05:09PM
A visitor to Yellowstone National Park is dead after an encounter with a grizzly bear Wednesday morning.

The incident occurred on the Wapiti Lake trail, which is located east of the Grand Loop Road south of Canyon Village.

The husband and wife couple had traveled about a mile and a half in on the trail Wednesday morning when they surprised a grizzly sow with cubs. In an apparent attempt to defend a perceived threat to her cubs, the bear attacked and fatally wounded the man. Another group of hikers nearby heard the victim’s wife crying out for help, and used a cell phone to call 911. Park rangers were summoned and quickly responded to the scene.

“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.”

The name and hometown of the victim are being withheld pending notification of family members.

Attacks by bears are extremely rare. No visitors were injured by bears in the park in 2010. This is the first bear-caused human fatality in Yellowstone since 1986.

Patrols are underway to clear the area of all backcountry users. All trails and backcountry campsites in the area have been closed until further notice. The incident is under investigation.

A bear warning sign is posted at the Wapiti Lake trailhead, since it is one of the access points to the Pelican Valley area, known for significant bear activity. However, there had been no reports of bear encounters along or near the Wapiti Lake trail this season. There had been no recent reports of animal carcasses along or near the trail. No research trapping of bears has been conducted in Yellowstone National Park this season.

Park visitors are advised to stay on designated trails, hike in groups of three or more people, and to be alert for bears and make noise in blind spots. Bear pepper spray has been highly successful at stopping aggressive behavior in bears. It is not yet known if either individual involved in this attack was carrying bear pepper spray.

Hikers and backcountry users are encouraged to check with staff at park visitor centers or backcountry offices for updated information before planning any trips in the Canyon area. Updated information is also available by calling 307-344-2160 during normal business hours.
avatar Re: Surprised grizzly sow kills man in Yellowstone
July 06, 2011 09:48PM
I usually clack-clack or noisily drag my trekking poles in limited vis areas
avatar Re: Surprised grizzly sow kills man in Yellowstone
July 07, 2011 11:44AM
Wow, that's deeply disturbing to hear. Two people were killed last year in the Yellowstone area; one in a predatory attack in Cooke City (no more than 4 or 5 miles from the NE entrance) and a hiker just east of the park (if I remember correctly) who was killed by a drugged grizzly who had just been released hours before. That totals 3 killings in a little more than a year now. I know the odds are still astronomically low and all, but that is an incredibly high figure compared to the rate of deaths from bears in the 25 years or so before last in the greater Yellowstone area.
avatar Identity Of Bear Mauling Victim Released
July 07, 2011 01:05PM
A 57-year-old Torrence, California, man has been identified as the victim of a Wednesday morning bear attack in Yellowstone National Park.

Brian Matayoshi, and his wife Marylyn, were hiking Wednesday morning on the Wapiti Lake Trail, which is located off the South Rim Drive, south of Canyon Village and east of the park’s Grand Loop Road.

The couple was hiking west back toward their vehicle. At approximately 11:00 a.m., at a point about a mile and a half from the trailhead, they walked out of a forested area into an open meadow. It appears that the couple spotted a bear approximately 100 yards away and then began walking away from the bear. When they turned around to look, they reportedly saw the female grizzly running down the trail at them. The couple began running, but the bear caught up with them, attacking Mr. Matayoshi. The bear then went over to Mrs. Matayoshi, who had fallen to the ground nearby. The bear bit her daypack, lifting her from the ground and then dropping her. She remained still and the bear left the area.

Mrs. Matayoshi then walked back toward the meadow and attempted, without success, to call 911 on her cell phone. She began to shout for help and was heard by a distant group of hikers who were able to contact 911 by cell phone. Two rangers already in the area on backcountry patrol were contacted by the park Communications Center by radio and responded to the scene of the incident.

Mr. Matayoshi received multiple bite and clawing injuries, and was dead when rangers arrived at the scene at approximately 11:30 a.m.

Rangers immediately closed the hiking trails in the area. A subsequent helicopter patrol of the area failed to turn up any other hikers or backpackers. This small section of the park’s backcountry is expected to remain closed for several days.

The initial investigation suggests the sow grizzly acted in a purely defensive nature to protect her cubs. This female bear is not tagged or collared, and does not apparently have a history of aggression or human interaction. Typically, the National Park Service does not trap, relocate, or kill a bear under those circumstances. A Board of Review which will include interagency experts will be convened to review the incident.

Bear attacks are extremely rare. No one was hurt by a bear in Yellowstone in 2010. This is the first time a human has been killed by a bear in the park since 1986.

Park visitors are encouraged to stay on designated trails, hike in groups of three or more people, and be alert for bears and make noise in blind spots. Visitors are also encouraged to consider carrying bear pepper spray, which has been shown to be highly successful in stopping aggressive behavior in bears. The Matayoshis were not carrying pepper spray.
avatar Re: Identity Of Bear Mauling Victim Released
July 08, 2011 10:38AM
Quote
eeek

A 57-year-old Torrence, California, man has been identified as the victim of a Wednesday morning bear attack in Yellowstone National Park.

Wow. It hasn't been a good summer for men from Southern California in the wilderness. Three dead so far, one still missing.

Quote
eeek

The couple was hiking west back toward their vehicle. At approximately 11:00 a.m., at a point about a mile and a half from the trailhead, they walked out of a forested area into an open meadow. It appears that the couple spotted a bear approximately 100 yards away and then began walking away from the bear. When they turned around to look, they reportedly saw the female grizzly running down the trail at them. The couple began running, but the bear caught up with them, attacking Mr. Matayoshi. The bear then went over to Mrs. Matayoshi, who had fallen to the ground nearby. The bear bit her daypack, lifting her from the ground and then dropping her. She remained still and the bear left the area

No mention about what type of bear it was, a grizzly or a black bear. By its agressive behavior, I suspect it was a grizzly. Does anyone know for sure?
avatar Re: Identity Of Bear Mauling Victim Released
July 08, 2011 01:45PM
Quote
plawrence
No mention about what type of bear it was, a grizzly or a black bear. By its agressive behavior, I suspect it was a grizzly. Does anyone know for sure?

I thought the "they reportedly saw the female grizzly running down the trail at them" part covered it.
avatar Re: Identity Of Bear Mauling Victim Released
July 09, 2011 10:26PM
Somehow my eyes kept on skipping over the word grizzly that was mentioned twice in the article and in the subject line.

My bad.

confused smiley
avatar Re: Surprised grizzly sow kills man in Yellowstone
July 07, 2011 01:59PM
Wow, you never run from a bear; Carl Lewis wouldn't stand a chance running from a grizzly. It's tragic news to hear, but you have to do your homework and know what you're getting into when going in the wilderness. After studying the area for a while and listening to what regular hikers in there recommended, I made sure to take two cans of bear spray and put them on my belt for fast access when (solo) hiking in the Beartooths, Yellowstone, and Grand Teton last summer. I don't think I'd take it in Yosemite or surrounding areas though, since the worst bear stories I hear in the area are about getting food taken and such. The fact that they ran seems to indicate these people didn't have appropriate fear of an environment where they're no longer top dog; if they did, they would have done the research and learned that running was about the worst thing they could have done.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/07/2011 02:00PM by mbear.
Re: Surprised grizzly sow kills man in Yellowstone
July 08, 2011 11:58AM
From the PBS Nature site:



Before visiting Yellowstone National Park or “bear country” familiarize yourself with safety precautions in order to avoid bear encounters. “Run for your life” may seem like common sense if a grizzly approaches you, but such action is highly unlikely to foil an attack. The recommended steps are not easy to follow, but they offer the best chance for survival. Here’s what the experts say:

  • If you encounter a grizzly, do not run.
  • Avoid direct eye contact.
  • Walk away slowly, if the bear is not approaching.
  • If the bear charges, stand your ground (you cannot outrun it).
  • Don’t scream or yell. Speak in a soft monotone voice and wave your arms to let the animal know you are human. If you have pepper spray, prepare to use it.
  • If the grizzly charges to within 25 feet of where you’re standing, use the spray.
  • If the animal makes contact, curl up into a ball on your side, or lie flat on your stomach.
  • Try not to panic; remain as quiet as possible until the attack ends.
  • While in bear country, be aware that you may encounter a bear at any time.
  • Be sure the bear has left the area before getting up to seek help.

And more ...






Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/08/2011 12:14PM by GVlog.
avatar Re: Surprised grizzly sow kills man in Yellowstone
July 20, 2011 07:31AM
Noticed this comment on the news link ( in this post: http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,42001,42086#msg-42086 ) reporting on the three people who went over Vernal:

"While a tragedy, why did they go over the safety rail? I work in Yellowstone National Park, and the man killed by the bear a few weeks ago; while the media never reported the whole story, the man and woman who were hiking actually were hiking on a CLOSED TRAIL. Tourists always think that they can do whatever they want, because they pay to get into a National Park. And then, when a tragedy happens, it's always another persons' fault."



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/20/2011 07:34AM by szalkowski.
avatar Re: Surprised grizzly sow kills man in Yellowstone
July 21, 2011 03:32AM
Quote
szalkowski
Noticed this comment on the news link ( in this post: http://yosemitenews.info/forum/read.php?3,42001,42086#msg-42086 ) reporting on the three people who went over Vernal:

"While a tragedy, why did they go over the safety rail? I work in Yellowstone National Park, and the man killed by the bear a few weeks ago; while the media never reported the whole story, the man and woman who were hiking actually were hiking on a CLOSED TRAIL. Tourists always think that they can do whatever they want, because they pay to get into a National Park. And then, when a tragedy happens, it's always another persons' fault."



FYI.
A PM that I have received questions the accuracy of the news link comment posted above. This PM is reproduced in part below:

"I saw that comment as well. I don't think it is credible. I have been following this story on a Yellowstone forum. No reports that the trail was closed on the day in question. I was in that area two days before that event and there was a closure near the picnic area along the South Canyon Drive but not the Wapiti Lake Trail (I specifically asked about that trail at the Backcountry Office in Canyon). Could it have been closed two days later? I think that would have come out in other news reports."
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