Yellowstone rangers believe they have found the grizzly bear that reportedly killed a man who was found after he went hiking alone off trail without bear spray.
Although the exact cause of the man’s death has not been confirmed, investigators found what appeared to be defensive wounds on victim Lance Crosby’s forearms. According to Yellowstone National Park, a forensic autopsy is expected to be performed.
“We are deeply saddened by this tragedy and our hearts go out to the family and friends of the victim as they work to cope with the loss of someone who loved Yellowstone so very much,” Dan Wenk, Superintendent of Yellowstone National Park, said.
Crosby had been a seasonal employee of Medcor, a company that operates three urgent care clinics in Yellowstone, for five years. For some reason, Crosby had wandered to a popular off trail area a mile from Elephant Back Loop Trail where he was known to frequent.
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Crosby was reported missing on Friday when he did not show up for work. His body was then found off trail partially eaten and covered, according to a statement from Yellowstone. It’s believed that at least one adult female grizzly and one cub were present at the scene of Crosby’s death based on partial tracks.
On Friday evening, wildlife biologists set bear traps in the area and captured an adult female grizzly. If she is identified as the bear that killed Crosby through a DNA sample, she will be euthanized.
“The decision to euthanize a bear is one that we do not take lightly,” Wenk said. “As park managers, we are constantly working to strike a balance between the preservation of park resources and the safety of our park visitors and employees.”
The Elephant Back Loop Trail and the surrounding area have since been closed following the deadly attack.
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Photo Credit: CNN