Welcome! Log In Create A New Profile Recent Posts
A Yosemite bear

The Moon is Waxing Crescent (9% of Full)


Advanced

Re: Hiker’s Death Confirmed as Grizzly Attack

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.

Suspect Yellowstone Bear is Killed
August 13, 2015 12:51PM
avatar Hiker’s Death Confirmed as Grizzly Attack
August 13, 2015 01:05PM
Results from an autopsy conducted on Monday afternoon concluded that Lance Crosby, a 63 year old Billings man, died as a result of traumatic injuries sustained from a bear attack. Results from genetic (DNA) analysis of bear hair samples collected next to Crosby’s body confirmed the adult female grizzly bear that was captured at the scene on the night the body was discovered was the bear involved in the fatal attack. Additional support beyond the DNA evidence that this female was the bear involved in the attack include: the bear and cubs were at the attack site when Crosby’s body was found by park rangers; bear tracks of a female with cubs were found at Crosby’s body; this bear was captured at the fatality site within 24 hours of the body being found; and canine puncture wounds inflicted on the victim are consistent with the bite size of the female captured at the site.

Based on the totality of the evidence, this adult female grizzly was the bear involved in the fatality and was killed today. An important fact in the decision to kill the bear was that a significant portion of the body was consumed and cached with the intent to return for further feeding. Normal defensive attacks by female bears defending their young do not involve consumption of the victim’s body.

Arrangements have been made to transfer the bear’s two cubs to a facility accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The AZA sets strict standards for facilities with regard to animal handling and care. Details of this placement are still being finalized. The facility is expected to make an announcement on Friday.

“As managers of Yellowstone National Park, we balance the preservation of park resources with public safety,” said Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk. “Our decision takes into account the facts of the case, the goals of the bear management program, and the long term viability of the grizzly bear population as a whole, rather than an individual bear.”

The area closures, including the Elephant Back Loop Trail and Natural Bridge Trail will be lifted on Friday, August 14.

All of Yellowstone is bear country. Hikers are encouraged to travel in groups of three or more, always carry bear spray that is readily accessible, make noise on the trail, and be alert for bears. Per park regulations, people are required to maintain a minimum distance of at least 100 yards from bears and wolves and at least 25 yards from all other large animals. For more information on hiking in bear country and how to minimize the dangers associated with a bear encounter, visit: http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/bearsafety.htm.
Re: Hiker’s Death Confirmed as Grizzly Attack
August 14, 2015 03:11PM
Re: Hiker’s Death Confirmed as Grizzly Attack
August 15, 2015 10:34AM
Thank you for posting that. I have been reading Yellowstone's FB page and other sites, including here, where people are pointing fingers and trying to place blame on the NPS, Mr Crosby, the bear and anyone/anything else they can think of. Some people just don't understand why a National Parks really exists and it is not to give people a Disneyland like experience where everything is controlled. But even Disneyland has it's dangers. Some people don't understand wild animal behavior, why the decision to kill the bear had to be made and feel that the decision was a easy thing to make. I think this article brings it all into perspective.
avatar Re: Hiker’s Death Confirmed as Grizzly Attack
August 16, 2015 11:31PM
I read the article but I strongly disagree with its assertion that the person who got killed wasn't in anyway at fault. He was very reckless in his behavior. Hiking (or worse running) in Grizzly bear country solo with no bear spray to fend off an attack.

That blog post even mentions an earlier incident where two people were attack and injured by a grizzly bear even though they carried bear spray as a justification having bear spray might not have made any difference, except that example actually DEMONSTRATES why it's better to hike with someone else AND carry bear spray. Because they weren't alone, one person was able to deploy and use the bear spray and while both were injured in the attack, both survived and so did the bear!

Surviving a bear attack means not only does the person lives but it great improves the chances of the bear not being killed by the Park Service.

.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/17/2015 11:00PM by plawrence.
Re: Hiker’s Death Confirmed as Grizzly Attack
August 17, 2015 06:05PM
I believe that there are very few people that feel that the hiker was faultless. He was hiking alone and without bear spray which is not against the law, like some people like to say it is, but it is not recommended to do so. BTW, there is no evidence that he was running - he was in hiking and not running gear which doesn't mean he was not running but no one can prove that he was. This is a very popular trail near a campground and employee housing and it also not that far from the Lake Hotel complex or the loop road so I have to disagree with the people who say it was his fault he got attacked because he was in a wilderness grizzly area and should have not been there. In reality the whole park is a grizzly area no matter if you are back packing or on the boardwalk near Old Faithful. People are also criticizing him because he was referred to as a avid hiker but must not have been because he didn't have bear spray with him. Maybe he always carried it but for some reason forgot it that day and we will never know. The bottom line is that he made a mistake and he paid for it with his life. We all sometimes do things that are unsafe and most of the time, no one gets hurt or killed. Sometimes you can do all the right things and bad things still can happen.

The bear was not killed because it attacked and killed a person. Bears have attacked and killed people before and have not been killed. However when a bear eats a person after it attacks the person and even worse, caches the body for later use, then unfortunately, the bear has to be killed. Yes, I know there are no actual scientific studies showing that once a bear kills and eats a person it will absolutely do it again but, there are incidences reported where a bear that has eaten a human has done it again. No scientist in his right mind is going to sacrifice a human to scientifically test the theory. No park is going to put other people in danger just on the chance it is not true.

It is sad that a man and a bear lost their lives and cubs will now be in a zoo. I just hope that people learn from this experience and when they are in parks they read and follow the the information that they are given and stay aware of their surroundings at all time.
avatar Re: Hiker’s Death Confirmed as Grizzly Attack
August 17, 2015 11:14PM
He wasn't on a trail but actually a half mile off trail (which is perfectly fine to be). I don't fault him at all for going off trail. There's nothing wrong to hike cross country even in grizzly bear country like Yellowstone. My problem is that he took a great risk (to the point of being reckless) by not carrying bear spray which was made worse because he was also hiking solo.

If it was NPS policy not to kill bears that kill people who make themselves vulnerable to bear attacks, then I would have less problem with people like him acting foolishly by not carrying bear spray with them while they explore the wilderness of Yellowstone. But I don't blame the bear for munching on him after he was killed if the bear was hungry (or her cubs needed food). The bear was just behaving as a grizzly bear should behave.

That's said, the bear in question (nicknamed Blaze by the locals), did appear (according to reports) that she was becoming more and more habituated and comfortable around people and that's never a good thing for the bear and the public.

.
Re: Hiker’s Death Confirmed as Grizzly Attack
August 18, 2015 10:06AM
Yellowstone killed this bear because it ate and then cached the hiker for future consumption. If she had only killed the man, she would not have been killed. As for not carrying bear spray, a friend of his said that he always carried it and does not understand why he didn't have it with him this time. I have also read that Blaze was well known for bluff attacks on people and has also had to be hazed in the past to because of her behavior. The necrosy report on the bear said that she was well nourished so it was not that she was not getting enough food from other sources. I feel bad that she was killed and the cubs are going to have to live out their lives in a zoo. However, no matter how people want to spin the facts, eating a human is NOT normal grizzly bear behavior otherwise there would be more incidences of it happening.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/18/2015 10:08AM by parklover.
avatar Re: Hiker’s Death Confirmed as Grizzly Attack
August 18, 2015 01:05PM
Quote
parklover
However, no matter how people want to spin the facts, eating a human is NOT normal grizzly bear behavior otherwise there would be more incidences of it happening.

It is normal, just like it's normal for cougars to occasionally attack and devour humans. It's doesn't happen very often because as meals go, humans aren't as meaty and nourishing as deer or elk (or domesticated cattle), or as plentiful as fish are in some streams. Also most grizzly bears if they even tried to a attack a human got counter attacked (either with bear spray or a firearm), so they probably would rather go after easier and bigger prey.

Note: if grizzly bears didn't view humans as potential prey, they would treat humans more like black bears do.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/18/2015 02:09PM by plawrence.
Re: Hiker’s Death Confirmed as Grizzly Attack
August 18, 2015 01:28PM
Quote
plawrence
Quote
parklover
However, no matter how people want to spin the facts, eating a human is NOT normal grizzly bear behavior otherwise there would be more incidences of it happening.

It's is normal, just like it's normal for cougars to occasionally attack and devour humans. It's doesn't happen very often because as meals go, humans aren't as meaty and nourishing as deer or elk (or domesticated cattle), or as plentiful as fish are in some streams. Also most grizzly bears if they even tried to a attack a human got counter attacked (either with bear spray or a firearm), so they probably would rather go after easier and bigger prey.

Note: if grizzly bears didn't view humans as potential prey, they would treat humans more like black bears do.

.

Maybe this is a discussion in semantics but how can something be "normal" and "occasional" and "not very often"? I think you are using the idea that it is "normal" behavior as a defense to not kill the grizzly. The fact is it is extremely rare.

But what is this about how black bears treat humans? It seems to me like black bears treat humans about the same as grizzlies. Almost all of the time attacks are defensive, death of the human is even more infrequent, and in extremely extraordinary rare cases the bears will feed on the human. But normal behavior, for both grizzly bears and black bears, is that they hear or smell us coming and they avoid us altogether.
avatar Re: Hiker’s Death Confirmed as Grizzly Attack
August 18, 2015 02:19PM
Quote
chicagocwright
Quote
plawrence
Quote
parklover
However, no matter how people want to spin the facts, eating a human is NOT normal grizzly bear behavior otherwise there would be more incidences of it happening.

It is normal, just like it's normal for cougars to occasionally attack and devour humans. It's doesn't happen very often because as meals go, humans aren't as meaty and nourishing as deer or elk (or domesticated cattle), or as plentiful as fish are in some streams. Also most grizzly bears if they even tried to a attack a human got counter attacked (either with bear spray or a firearm), so they probably would rather go after easier and bigger prey.

Note: if grizzly bears didn't view humans as potential prey, they would treat humans more like black bears do.

.

Maybe this is a discussion in semantics but how can something be "normal" and "occasional" and "not very often"? I think you are using the idea that it is "normal" behavior as a defense to not kill the grizzly. The fact is it is extremely rare.

But what is this about how black bears treat humans? It seems to me like black bears treat humans about the same as grizzlies. Almost all of the time attacks are defensive, death of the human is even more infrequent, and in extremely extraordinary rare cases the bears will feed on the human. But normal behavior, for both grizzly bears and black bears, is that they hear or smell us coming and they avoid us altogether.


I disagree with the notion that grizzly bears behave in a way similar to black bears, especially the black bears that roam the Sierra Nevada. Grizzlies hold their ground and launch pre-emptive attacks. To classify these attacks as defensive is more a matter of semantics. Black bears in the Sierra rarely ever attack a hiker unless the hiker is trying to take back something that the black bear now has in his or her possession.

It's not that grizzly bears have no fear of humans. It's extremely rare that a grizzly bear will attack a group of three or more people. The most common grizzly bear attack is against a person who is hiking or camping alone.

.
Re: Hiker’s Death Confirmed as Grizzly Attack
August 18, 2015 02:46PM
I'm not disputing anything you said about black bears. I am just suggesting that Grizzly bears act pretty much the same way. I've come across 3-4 grizzly bears and 3-4 black bears and in my experience there was no difference. I won't argue that there is zero difference but my argument is mostly against the idea that people should be scared of grizzly bears because they might come eat you. Yes they "might". But you might get in a car wreck on the way to the trailhead and people don't obsess over that fear. New posters here at this forum often ask about bears with a sense of fear. They are universally answered that there is very little to fear. So in a very similar way I make the same case for grizzly bears. If it were closer to the argument you are making, you would be crazy to go golfing here without bear spray or a firearm.
Re: Hiker’s Death Confirmed as Grizzly Attack
September 16, 2015 10:05AM
Here is Alaska's most recent example of a brown bear (grizzly) attack where it was determined that the attack was not predatory thus they are not killing the bear.

Alaska Officials won't euthanize bear
Re: Hiker’s Death Confirmed as Grizzly Attack
September 24, 2015 05:42PM
Here is the latest example of a "defensive" attack by a brown bear (grizzly) in Alaska. In this case the bear was shot by the hunters and found dead later.

Feds Call Bear's Mauling of Man in Short-range Encounter Defensive Act
avatar Re: Hiker’s Death Confirmed as Grizzly Attack
August 18, 2015 02:53PM
And sometimes they just find the body already dead.
Re: Hiker’s Death Confirmed as Grizzly Attack
August 18, 2015 09:02PM
Here is a link to Yellowstone inflicted human injuries and fatalities for both grizzly and black bears. http://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/nature/injuries.htm

I also found this link that explains the difference between a defensive attack and a predatory attack and what to do.

http://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/nature/bearmindset.htm



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/18/2015 09:05PM by parklover.
Re: Suspect Yellowstone Bear is Killed
August 20, 2015 05:42AM
If no one is totally sure about what is 'normal' or 'safe' in Yellowstone, how do we judge what is safe and/or normal in Yosemite. how many hikers don't- but now will-carry spray- on or off trail, in Yosemite? and how many will continue NOT to carry it.
Spray may be a bona fide defence against an attacking bear- but only if the wind is in the right direction. and there's only, what, 30 seconds worth in a can?Confused
Re: Suspect Yellowstone Bear is Killed
August 20, 2015 08:40AM
Quote
pines
If no one is totally sure about what is 'normal' or 'safe' in Yellowstone, how do we judge what is safe and/or normal in Yosemite. how many hikers don't- but now will-carry spray- on or off trail, in Yosemite? and how many will continue NOT to carry it.
Spray may be a bona fide defence against an attacking bear- but only if the wind is in the right direction. and there's only, what, 30 seconds worth in a can?Confused

Oh no, there is no way this kind of encounter lasts 30 seconds. 5-6 seconds is more likely. I looked it up and one brand advertises 32 feet and 9.2 seconds. My fear with using bear spray, if I was in that situation, is that I would use it too early---not allowing the bear to get close enough.

But again more importantly the big message really needs to be how rare these attacks are--both grizzly bears and black bears. We can be sure what is normal or safe and we know definitively that bear spray simply is not necessary, or legal, in Yosemite.
Re: Suspect Yellowstone Bear is Killed
August 20, 2015 12:13PM
As chicagocwright has said attacks by bears are rare. In Yellowstone, "from 1980-2011, over 90 million people visited Yellowstone National Park. During the same 32 year period, 43 people were injured by bears in the park." (see above link I posted) The chance of being injured by a bear in Yellowstone is 1 in 2.1 million. You have a better chance of getting struck by lightening or getting in a car accident on the way to a park.

In Yosemite more people have been injured by deer than those by black bears and the other animals combined. Yet people seem to think it is OK to try to pet a deer but are terrified that they will get attacked by a black bear.

"Normal" is based on what has been observed. I feel confident that by following the recommendations that the Yellowstone NPS has given, on my next visit there is a very slim chance that I will get attacked by a bear and even more remote is the chance I would get killed by one. I am also confident that while I am in Yosemite I don't need bear spray. And, I do know from personal experience, you can get in a car accident and almost get struck by lightening when you are on vacation.
avatar Re: Suspect Yellowstone Bear is Killed
August 21, 2015 02:03PM
Quote
parklover
As chicagocwright has said attacks by bears are rare. In Yellowstone, "from 1980-2011, over 90 million people visited Yellowstone National Park. During the same 32 year period, 43 people were injured by bears in the park." (see above link I posted) The chance of being injured by a bear in Yellowstone is 1 in 2.1 million.

That's a very deceptive stat stated that way. There's basically NO chance of being attacked by a bear in Yellowstone if you're with three or more people. (I don't think that's EVER happened at Yellowstone) Nor if you stay by the road or in a developed areas.

All of the reported bear attacks in Yellowstone have occurred in the wilderness where only an extremely small amount of park visitors (maybe 5%) visit. And all of the reported attacks have been against people hiking in pairs or most often, hiking solo.

Which is why I'm skeptical about most of the attacks (especially the fatal ones) beening dubbed "defensive". Think about it. Wouldn't a bear feel more threatened by a large group of people than just one or two hikers? Solo hikers have been attacked by grizzly bears the most often because the bear knows one person is a far easier target than three or more.

.
Re: Suspect Yellowstone Bear is Killed
August 21, 2015 04:54PM
Did you see my note that there has been one fatal attack in Denali in its 90 year history?

I don't have statistics for you but they are probably available for the rest of Alaska and even urban Anchorage area. There have been several grizzly attacks just since I've lived here and the only fatal one was in Denali. The most recent was a very remote spot in the Kenai Peninsula that was across a very large lake from the road. This person was running through the woods and was attacked. There is no reasonable explanation for why that person was not killed and ate other than the obvious that it was a defensive attack. In fact, several of the attacks since I have been here are runners who are moving quickly and quietly through the woods and have the misfortune of surprising a grizzly bear who instinctively reacts defensively. I simply cannot reconcile your skepticism regarding defensive attacks with the facts that show relatively many attacks, rare fatalities, and much rarer feedings.

I also think your reasoning is incorrect regarding why it is best to travel in groups. It isn't a matter of being a target it is a matter that a group is much more noticeable to a bear due to noise and other factors. Solo hikers are attacked more often because they are much more likely to surprise a bear. This is why many solo hikers here in Alaska will take a dog because that also drastically decreases the chance of surprising a bear. The advice from bear experts here in Alaska is clear: make noise while you hike--solo or in a group. Sing, talk loudly, clap your hands, etc. And bells are not generally recommended because they have been found to be ineffective.
avatar Re: Suspect Yellowstone Bear is Killed
August 21, 2015 05:34PM
Quote
chicagocwright

And bells are not generally recommended because they have been found to be ineffective.


Yes, I've heard they've been found in the stool of the bears. wink

.
Re: Suspect Yellowstone Bear is Killed
August 21, 2015 09:47PM
Quote
plawrence
Quote
chicagocwright

And bells are not generally recommended because they have been found to be ineffective.


Yes, I've heard they've been found in the stool of the bears. wink

.

Yep. The bear scat usually has bells and bear spray. ;-)
Re: Suspect Yellowstone Bear is Killed
August 22, 2015 11:38PM
Quote
plawrence
Quote
parklover
As chicagocwright has said attacks by bears are rare. In Yellowstone, "from 1980-2011, over 90 million people visited Yellowstone National Park. During the same 32 year period, 43 people were injured by bears in the park." (see above link I posted) The chance of being injured by a bear in Yellowstone is 1 in 2.1 million.

That's a very deceptive stat stated that way. There's basically NO chance of being attacked by a bear in Yellowstone if you're with three or more people. (I don't think that's EVER happened at Yellowstone) Nor if you stay by the road or in a developed areas.

All of the reported bear attacks in Yellowstone have occurred in the wilderness where only an extremely small amount of park visitors (maybe 5%) visit. And all of the reported attacks have been against people hiking in pairs or most often, hiking solo.

Which is why I'm skeptical about most of the attacks (especially the fatal ones) beening dubbed "defensive". Think about it. Wouldn't a bear feel more threatened by a large group of people than just one or two hikers? Solo hikers have been attacked by grizzly bears the most often because the bear knows one person is a far easier target than three or more.

.

They are statistics directly from the NPS link that I had posted. I didn't find the numbers deceptive at all because it was derived from how many people were attacked and how many people had visited during that time period. The other link was about the behavioral differences between defensive attacks and predatory attack. It really doesn't have anything to do with how many people are needed for a bear to feel they need to defend themselves or their cubs. Besides more people make more noise so the bear can hear them coming so they are not surprise and there are less attacks.
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login