Bear Baiting May Have Prompted Fatal Attack
The investigation into last week’s fatal grizzly bear mauling near Cooke City, Mont., now involves looking into allegations that a photographer may have baited wildlife near the northeast entrance to Yellowstone National Park, KZBK-TV, Bozeman, Mont., reported.
Last week, Montana’s News Station received a tip from a viewer about “baiting allegations.” The viewer said they stayed in campgrounds near Cooke City two weeks prior to the fatal mauling where concerns were raised by the campground host that someone may have been baiting bears near the campground.
At the same time, the information was posted on the unofficial Yellowstone National Park Facebook page, which generated nearly 50 comments.
Ron Aasheim, spokesman for Montana’s Fish Wildlife & Parks Department (FWP), said his agency is aware of the allegations and FWP is investigating them. Aasheim pointed out that his agency looks into any allegation that may help explain the bear’s unusual behavior, particularly if it might involve activity that is against the law, such as baiting or feeding wild animals.