Two grizzly bear cubs captured after their mother attacked and killed a hiker in Yellowstone National Park will be sent this fall to the Toledo Zoo in Ohio.
The mother of the two female cubs was captured and euthanized after park officials determined the bear was responsible for killing Lance Crosby, a 63-year-old Billings, Mont. man who had been hiking alone near Lake Village in the park.
Park officials determined the cubs, both less than a year old and each weighing 50-60 pounds, are not capable of surviving in the wild without their mother.
Wildlife managers faced criticism for killing the mother grizzly, with wildlife advocates lobbying for the bear to be sent to a zoo or other wildlife refuge.
Park officials said that a key factor in their decision was that “a significant portion” of Crosby’s body was eaten by the grizzly, and cached (hidden or covered) by the bear—behavior that signals the bear planned to return later to resume feeding on the body.
Such behavior is abnormal in typical defensive attacks by female bears defending their cubs, park officials said.
No exact date for transfer of the cubs has been set, according to a statement released by the Toledo Zoon.
Upon their arrival at the Zoo, the cubs will undergo standard quarantine processes to ensure their health and wellness before going on exhibit for public viewing. Additional details about the cubs and their exhibit space will be announced after their arrival.