Grizzly Bear Kills Yellowstone Hiker

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July 7, 2011 by   - () Leave a Comment

A killer grizzly is roaming Yellowstone National Park's backcountry after fatally mauling a man who apparently surprised the female bear and its cubs while hiking with his wife, the Associated Press reported.

Officials closed remote campgrounds and trails near the scene of Wednesday's attack close to Canyon Village, which sits in the middle of the sprawling park. The identity of the 57-year-old victim was being withheld until his family could be notified, said Yellowstone spokesman Al Nash.

The mauling occurred just after Yellowstone's peak weekend for tourism. While lamenting the death, officials said they didn't want to overemphasize the danger to visitors.

"This is a wild and natural park," said Diane Shober, director of the state Wyoming Travel and Tourism agency. "At the same time, the likelihood of this happening again is small."

It was the park's first fatal grizzly mauling since 1986, but the third in the Yellowstone region in just over a year amid ever-growing numbers of grizzlies and tourists roaming the same wild landscape of scalding-hot geysers and sweeping mountain vistas.

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