From Staff Reports
Wildlife managers in Yellowstone National Park killed a black bear Saturday after it was seen foraging for human food and returning to a campground after being chased out.
An adult male black bear weighing 142 pounds entered the Canyon Campground on Saturday afternoon and approached within six feet of a man and woman who were eating, according to a statement released by the park’s public affairs office.
The campers moved away and the bear ate some of their food. The bear also went through the campers’ garbage and sniffed and pawed at their tent. The bear then left the site and sniffed and pawed at other tents, bear-proof dumpsters and bear-proof food storage boxes and dug through fire pits in other campsites in the campground.
Rangers responded and hazed the bear out of the campground, but the bear returned again to the campground. Due to safety concerns for park visitors, park workers shot and killed the bear at approximately 9:00 p.m.
Park officials advise that visitors must keep food, garbage, coolers and other attractants stored in hard-sided vehicles or bear-proof food storage boxes. This helps keep bears from becoming conditioned to human foods, and helps keep park visitors and their property safe.
Hikers in bear country are encouraged to travel in groups of three or more, carry bear deterrent spray, make plenty of noise on the trail, and to be alert for the presence of bears. If a bear charges during a surprise encounter, stand your ground, do not run, and use bear pepper spray.
Park regulations require that you to stay at least 100 yards away from black and grizzly bears at all times. The best defense against bear attacks is to stay a safe distance from bears and use your binoculars, spotting scope, or telephoto lens to get a closer look.
Bear sightings should be reported to the nearest visitor center or ranger station as soon as possible.
Contact Yellowstone Gate at 307-213-9818 or [email protected]