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Pinedale Online > News > July 2008 > Second aggressive black bear euthanized in Yellowstone Park
Second aggressive black bear euthanized in Yellowstone Park
by Yellowstone National Park
July 24, 2008

Rangers in Yellowstone National Park removed a 130-pound sub-adult male black bear because it became conditioned to human food, posing a continuing threat to the safety of park visitors and employees. This is the second conditioned black bear to be euthanized since July 10.

The bear had been getting food from hikers’ backpacks in the Hellroaring and Yellowstone River drainages in the north end of the park. There have been multiple incidents involving this bear damaging property and obtaining human foods in the Hellroaring and Yellowstone River drainages. The bear could be identified by his distinct brown/black mixed coloring.

Repeated efforts to trap the bear were unsuccessful. Late yesterday afternoon, however, park staff caught this bear in the act of ripping into the packs of a large group of backcountry hikers. Based on his aggressive behavior, lack of fear of people, and its success at getting human food, the decision was made to immediately euthanize the bear. The area was cleared of all visitors and the bear was shot.

Park regulations require you to stay a hundred yards – the length of a football field – away from black and grizzly bears at all times. The best defense is to stay a safe distance from bears and use your binoculars, telescope, or telephoto lens to get a closer look.

If approached by a bear in a picnic area or campsite, gather all your food, cooking utensils and garbage and get inside your vehicle or hard-sided pick-up camper, trailer or recreational vehicle. When not in use, food, garbage, barbecue grills and other attractants must be stored in hard-sided vehicles or bear-proof food storage boxes or hung at least 10 feet above the ground and 4 feet out from the trunk of the tree.These actions help keep bears from becoming conditioned to human foods and park visitors and their property safe.

Due to deep snows last winter, in combination with the very late spring we experienced this year, many bears are in poor shape making it more likely that they will seek human foods. Once bears become conditioned to human foods they are much more likely to damage property and injure people in their efforts to obtain human foods.

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