Investigation Launched Into Grizzly Bear Mauling of Botanist Outside Yellowstone National Park

This story gives more info on the dead botanist Erwin Frank Evert-

Story from National Parks Traveler. By Kurt Repanshek

Evert recently wrote Vascular Plants of the Greater Yellowstone Area. He knew the Yellowstone country well. His death certainly is a loss.



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  1. cc Avatar

    A psychologist needs to investigate why someone who should know better would knowingly enter a bear closure area. If someone as experienced in grizzly habitat as this man would do something so foolish, what hope is there that newbies and tourists wanting a better photo would do anything different?

  2. Ralph Maughan Avatar
    Ralph Maughan

    I commented earlier about my stupidity with a grizzly in Kitty Creek. It was back in 1996. Luckily the bear hid from me despite me following it into the deep timber.

    My point was I probably did it just because I was feeling very aggressive that day.

  3. Robert Hoskins Avatar
    Robert Hoskins

    I’m sure the government investigation will be completely objective.


  4. Craig Avatar

    Stupid is as stupid does! If you are that goddamn dumb you deserve what you get! I mean the signs are there you know what’s out there, and if you go looking you shall get what you were after! It’s this dumbass that got the Bear and himself killed and it’s his fault! Do I feel sorry for him? NO! He knew what he was doing and paid the price! If he had any smarts he would have had Bear spray or a gun for protection, he had neither! Tuff shit ,he paid the ultimate price for being stupid! Let it be a warning for those who think Bears are warm snuggly creatures you can walk up to and take pictures of! And yes I’ve had encounters with Grizz & Black bear and walked away just fine by using common sense!

    1. Robert Hoskins Avatar
      Robert Hoskins


      This is truly an arrogant, stupid comment. I’ve been digging into this incident and there’s far more to it than has been reported. You and 99.9% of people out there, including people on this site, have no clue about what really happened. I recommend you settle down and show some compassion.


    2. Save bears Avatar
      Save bears


      You have got that right, there is far more to this, than has been reported in the news…

    3. Mike Avatar

      So what hasn’t been reported? I keep hearing this but see no proof.

  5. bob jackson Avatar
    bob jackson

    There is too much govt. counter spin being developed and disseminated to the press …and to the blogs….for there not to be “more to the story”.

  6. Virginia Avatar

    CodyCoyote – how about it – what is the real story? By the way, Craig, I think you are writing on the wrong blog.

  7. Carol Vinzant Avatar

    What I’m really curious about is the timing of the sad whole episode. How much time was there between when the bear woke up, when they left it and when Evert was mauled? What’s the procedure on how long you wait with an animal recovering from a tranquilizer? I feel bad for what both the families and the researchers must be going through.

    1. bob jackson Avatar
      bob jackson

      I can’t say if procedures (or drugs) are different now but until a few years ago the trappers waited till the bear could lift its head (still laying down) and then it was vamoose.

      If the background info I hear is correct and they were using horses (walking 3 mph) and it was such a short distance (less than 2 miles) to the point where the wife supposedly intercepted them…and then one of them ran back pronto…. I’d say that bear was barely afoot before Evert walked onto him. I’d also say that bear was also probably still somewhat disoriented…and scared. With being scared comes defensive action and for a griz this means attacking is normal.

      One more thing. The interagency is quoted as saying there is no cause and effect with drugging…it is just like a person being drugged and then coming out of surgery. No big deal.

      But I guarentee if that patient had been whipped and beaten before they were drugged they would be coming out of that stupor with a lot of fear, flight and or agression. People and bears have memory…and it is the memory of the pain they had BEFORE the drugging that activates response, not the drug itself, in this case.

      I can not believe Interagency even tries to give this crap scenario as a way to skirt cause and effect. It is an insult to everyonesreasoning powers…and just wants me to say and enlighten others more. I hate snow jobs and I hate “spin”.

      As Gene Autry sang, “Be Honest With Me” so it is that is all I (or others) want. Otherwise, I will nail any slimmie to the wall….and since administrators in the govt. seem to have the inside track on this talent so be it.

      And one more tip to those spin masters…forget trying to plant false “info”. It may work for some in the initial stages but then the knowledge of being led down the wrong path will make for even more soured public. It didn’t work in my salt baiting case and it won’t work now.

  8. Cody Coyote Avatar
    Cody Coyote

    Question: isn’t it true that an animal sedated with Telazol is not rendered unconscious ? It’s numbed and immobile, but aren’t its eyes wide open the whole time ? As in the bear could see everything that was being done to it and by whom ( what , actually) , but could not respond…

    Is it full anasthesia/unconsciousness , or dissociative anesthesia ?

  9. Save bears Avatar
    Save bears


    here it he Vet page for the use in Dogs and Cats

  10. Carol Vinzant Avatar

    Thanks for the reply, Bob.
    I was also wondering: the Chicago Tribune says they lured the bear to a leg trap with an animal carcass. Would they have removed the carcass before they released the bear? Since bears are known to protect a carcass, could that have triggered the attack?
    Cody, I was just asking bear biologist Stephen Stringham about that. He says there are some theories that bears are aware, just not mobile when anesthetized. So he always tries to make a good impression on sedated bears and treat them sweetly.
    Could there be something wrong with this batch of drugs? Just a week earlier 2 mountain goats up in Glacier reacted oddly–they died.

    1. Save bears Avatar
      Save bears

      One of the goats, ribcage was perforated by the needle in the dart, which possibly went into the lung tissue, the needles they us for darting animals are not small, so a lung puncture would most likely been fatal, I have not heard about the other goat, but I am presuming the same happened with it..This is an inter-muscular drug, so shooting them in the rib cage, was an improper protocol..

    2. Elk275 Avatar


      When goats are wounded they will seek a cliff and roll off. If the darter would have ask an experience goat hunter instead of being a “know it all” things could have turned out different.


Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan’s Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of “Hiking Idaho.” He also wrote “Beyond the Tetons” and “Backpacking Wyoming’s Teton and Washakie Wilderness.” He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

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