The grizzly bear that m*rdered a woman over the weekend on a route close to the Montana-Idaho border was sought after by authorities on Monday. A hiker discovered the victim’s body early on Saturday morning on the Buttermilk Trail, roughly 8 miles west of West Yellowstone, according to a statement from the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks.
A private campground and a trailhead were nearby the woman’s body, which was found a few hundred yards away. The woman had “wounds consistent with a bear attack,” according to the agency, which was confirmed by game wardens, bear specialists, and personnel from other agencies.
Despite the fact that bears were not sighted by officials, the department reported finding tracks from an adult and at least one cub nearby. There was no indication the bear tried to devour the victim, who appeared to be running when she was tragically attacked, according to Morgan Jacobsen of the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks.
“This person was likely out for a morning jog along the trail and that’s when this happened,” Jacobsen told the Associated Press. The victim’s identity has not been made public. According to Jacobsen, she was wearing running shoes at the time of the event and lacked bear spray, an aerosol deterrent that wildlife experts advise people to carry in places where bears are common.
Authorities were unable to determine if the person was a victim of predation or a random meeting. Vacationers flock to West Yellowstone, which serves as a gateway to Yellowstone National Park, during the busy summer months.
The attack took place close to a region with a significant number of resort hotels, rental cabins, single-family homes, and campers. Along with people on foot, ATVs and other off-road vehicles frequently use this hiking track.
USA TODAY confirms the news on its official Twitter account:
The victim's body was found with bear attack wounds Saturday morning by a hiker near Yellowstone National Park. https://t.co/nAOIYQ0BoO
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) July 25, 2023
Forest Closed After Grizzly Bear Attack
In the Custer Gallatin National Forest, including the well-known hiking region of Buttermilk, rangers have declared an emergency shutdown. The Yellowstone National Park is exempt from the shutdown.
A grizzly bear and two cubs were seen in the vicinity on Saturday night, according to Jacobsen, but no sightings have been reported since. On Saturday and Sunday evenings, authorities attempted to catch the bears using traps, but they were unsuccessful. In an effort to locate the bears, an aircraft was also deployed, but none were located.
If an adult bear is captured, the agency has not yet decided whether to k!ll it or relocate it, according to Jacobsen. He pointed out that traps lose their potency over time since additional bears who weren’t participating in the attack can show up.
Local resident Bill Youngwirth told that despite the attack and forest closure, locals were not frightened. People, according to Youngwirth, think the mother bear may have acted in self-defense.
About a mile away from multiple holiday properties that Youngwirth rents close to the forest, the attack took place. “I tell everybody, ‘Better take bear spray and know how to use it,'” he said. “And the big thing is, don’t go alone.”
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Grizzly Bears Expanding Range in the US
Over the past few years, grizzly bear populations in the northern Rocky Mountains of the United States have increased dramatically, increasing the probability that people will encounter them in new locations each year.
Grizzly bear sightings have increased recently in places where they haven’t been reported in decades or on a regular basis. Grizzly bears in the Yellowstone area have murdered at least nine people since 2010, despite the fact that bear assaults in the area are uncommon.
Officials in the Yellowstone region have advocated for grizzly hunting and lifting safeguards, despite the fact that grizzly bears are protected by federal law in states other than Alaska.
People were alerted last week by the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks to confirm sightings of grizzly bears throughout the state, “particularly in areas between the Northern Continental Divide and the Great Yellowstone ecosystems.”
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