Yellowstone National Park officials captured the second of two cubs belonging to the female grizzly bear suspected in the deadly mauling of a hiker last week.
Lance Crosby, age 63, was killed by a grizzly bear Aug 7 on the Elephant Back Loop Trail near the northwest end of Yellowstone Lake. A long-time employee of a local urgent care, Crosby was known to hike within the park often.
Preliminary finds along the trail where Crosby was found reveal defensive wounds and a female bear that might have been startled. His body was also partially consumed and cached or covered, according to a statement.
Over the weekend, park officials announced they had captured a female bear suspected in the attack, and on Monday they secured both of her cubs using tranquilizers. After DNA to tests can confirm the mother’s culpability she will be euthanized. As for the cubs, wildlife officials say they will look for a sanctuary or they will be euthanized as well.
Grizzly bear experts say bears typically only attack humans out of fear and that’s likely what occurred here. Based on evidence at the scene and other such attacks, Crosby likely startled the bear somehow. Females defending their cubs are the number one source of bear attacks.
Although Yellowstone is thick with grizzly bears and there are a reported one attack per year, there have only been eight confirmed deaths from bear attacks within the park in 99 years, park officials say.