Here is the Soda Butte Grizzly Attack Report

In the early morning hours of 28 July 2010, an adult female grizzly bear accompanied by 3 yearlings attacked 3 separate people in 3 different tents in the Soda Butte Campground.  The initial attack was inflicted on Mr. Ronald Singer at approximately 0200 hours, who was bitten through his tent on his lower left leg. Mr. Singer punched the bear several times and the bear left.  The second attack was inflicted on Mrs. Deborah Freele at approximately 0215 hours; she was initially bitten on her upper left arm and then bitten on her lower left arm.  She then received a slight bite to her left leg and then the bear left.  The third attack was inflicted on Mr. Kevin Kammer at an unknown time, presumably after the first 2 attacks.  Mr. Kammer was camping by himself, and was killed and partially consumed at his campsite.  All of these attacks occurred in a 27-site campground, of which 24 sites were occupied by people on the night of the attacks.  An unmarked adult female grizzly bear and her 3 yearling offspring (2 females and 1 male) were captured at the site of the fatality within 16-48 hours of the incident.  This adult female was DNA matched to grizzly bear hair found on the victims and was subsequently destroyed.  The yearlings were placed in a zoo facility for permanent removal from the wild.

About The Author

Brian Ertz

102 Responses to Soda Butte Grizzly Attack Report

  1. Cindy says:

    My prayers go out to the folks that used their car to sound the warning on the first loop only. How horrific for them to wonder the outcome had they gone down the second loop as well. Tragic all the way around.

  2. Cindy says:

    And a more down to business comment, sounds like a heck of a lot of bear activity at the campground prior to the attacks. Many tracks in and around storage, sightings, pictures and even bear hair of unknown original on the shoes of one victims. Is there a standard rule for closing a campground before an incident of this magnitude?

  3. Cindy says:

    unknown origin..

  4. Cody Coyote says:

    I was in Cooke City yesterday , Aug 18. The campgrounds are still closed, three weeks after the incidents. ???

  5. mikepost says:

    I understand that during the necropsy of the sow she was found to have an extreme parisitic infestation that had seriously degraded her physical condition. Once again, a reason for atypical behavior.

    • jon says:

      Bob Fanning said the bear might be infected with echinococcus granulosis.

    • Linda Hunter says:

      I have been told by some angry Washington State hunters that only wolves have parasites. . and that those parasites are released into the air so anyone walking through brush where wolves have been can be infected. Does it seem like those “facts” are right to you? I told them that all animals have parasites and they would have to eat some poo to get them. . they are sure I am wrong and that wolves are the threat to our very lives here.

    • jon says:

      Linda, there are those who blamed this grizzly attack on wolves. Some said it was because the wolves ate all of the game and that is why the bear was starving and other nuts like Bob Fanning said that wolves gave the bear the parasite e. granulosis. It doesn’t surprise me that wolves get dragged into and blamed for incidents involving other animals. It’s like blame the wolf for everything.

    • JEFF E says:

      Grizzly bears, like most other animals, are afflicted with an array of parasites and diseases (LeFranc et al. 1987). Occasionally a bear succumbs to such ailments, but documenting cause ofdeath is difficult, particularly under natural conditions. Animals carrying a heavy load of parasites can die from starvation, malnutrition, or in a conflict situation. The parasite may ultimately be the cause oftheir demise, but the proxima
      cause may differ. We are unaware of a documented major die-off in a grizzly bear population linked either to parasites or diseases.

    • Save bears says:

      Mike Said:

      “I understand that during the necropsy of the sow she was found to have an extreme parasitic infestation”

      Mike I have the report and the necropsy says:

      “Moderate to numerous Tapeworms and roundworms in the small intestine” No where in the report does it say extreme parasitic infestation and it also state she within the lower weight range of the Yellowstone area bear, the condition of the bear was attributed to the parasitic infestation and the demands of three offspring.

      Moderate, numerous and extreme have far different meanings when diagnosing and summarizing a necropsy..

      Moderate and numerous, is often the norm in wild species..

    • Save bears says:

      Just to add, virtually every single wild animals I have taken during hunting season over the last 25 + years have had some Moderate to Numerous parasitic infestation, it is quite common in wild animals..

    • Paul White says:

      Parasites and old healed injuries are the norm in animals in the wild.

  6. mikepost says:

    Linda: while feces is the initial carrier from an infected host, many paracite larva will remain dormant on the ground and low forage long after the fecal pile is broken down. Thus even just the act of grazing on the contaminated ground can result in the ingestion of larva and completion of the infection cycle.

    • Linda Hunter says:

      Thanks Mikepost . . that is a far cry from the alarm of anywhere wolves are breathing the air is dangerous.

    • Save bears says:


      Just consider the source, then it is easy to see it is simply a false alarm..

    • MJ says:

      Always finding it surprising when the presence of parasites is seen as something out of the norm. Fleas are certainly a common tapeworm vector among pets and so this parasite would almost be expected to be present in wild animals. Bet the moon that the majority of untreated pet cats who are allowed outdoors have tapeworms or other parasites. I believe most mammals (including humans) have one or more parasites present throughout their lives.

    • Barb Rupers says:

      A few years back a ferel cat was shut in the shop building for several days. When I opened the door the cat ran out and left behind numerous piles that were filled with many roundworms; I am not sure from which end of the cat they came.

  7. wwy says:

    Appears that through isotope analysis that this bear has basically lived a vegan existence for the last two years. The report states that 92% of bears in the ecosystem eat more meat than her. It also stated she had very low trace levels of C4, indicating she wasn’t a consumer of anthropogenic food sources. Are you going to withdraw your earlier fantasy crap about this being caused by outfitters and sloppy practices or are you going to keep up your fantasy ranger image and keep touting that you know everything. Bob, this is finally really good solid evidence that you are absolutelyl full of it. Tell me how a side of crow goes with your bison steak.

    • bob jackson says:

      Oh my, Mr. WWY,

      Be gone for a few days and I come back to read your anguish. You must have such a resentful and bitter outlook on life. And judging from your earlier response of the fatality on the Shoshone …. combined with this present way out extension of who I am overall, I’d have to guess you probably are a Kling-On to the biologist community. And what is a Kling On? Someone who hangs around and gets a few bennies from them ….. so this throw- away spouts out the “message” second hand.

      The result is kling ons are blind to the facts at hand. They have no original thought and have no back bone. I saw way too many of your type(?) during my 30 years in YNP….District rangers and climb the ladder types sniffing the behinds of the Supt., ….. Yellow backs who would change to brown when the ones using them wiped the kling on from the rear end to smear that yellow incriminating evidence away.

      I had a horse once that was the bravest, meanest horse of all …when he had the protection of a corral fence between him and the other horse. This horse would sniff the butt of my top dog riding horse, however, as soon as the corral gate was opened.

      But I digressed with motives. So what do we have for information here that supposedly knocks the hell out of my whole life. A bear that eats little meat and an isotope that shows little of King Corn (its a movie, guys, and one where the documentors talk of how KC dna swallows the diet of our modern human existence…something that made the light bulb go off with a grad student, and biologist wanna be, and apply this knowledge to bears and human habituation).

      And undeniable proof, as stated by wwy, this was not a habituated bear??? ….and directly refuting my possibilities a bear was consorting with outfitters??

      For one, it is not in the numbers but in the urgency for behavior to be altered that makes the difference. It could have been 98 % plant consumption and two percent meat RIGHT before hibernation that altered this mamma bear…meat from outfitters kills….one has to realize she got enough nutrition in the previous 2 falls ago for those cubs to be born, right?

      In my salt baiting case both the Forest Sevice and Wyoming G&F tried to cover up and minimize by saying the salting pits were old and not used for nefarious outfitter activities…some so old they were left overs from G&F salting of elk in the 50″s. They set up a researcher to analyis shot elk and dirt in those salt pits for supposed lack of use of elk of NaCl (as compared to natures CaCl). They even had a couple outfitters set up to show this researcher these old pits. Only thing was I got wind of it and put a wrench in their little choreographed scenario. I showed this kid the salt maps I had previously given to FS and G&F (something they conveniently forgot to pass on to him).

      The end result was salt pits showed that dirty nacl, of course, but the elk didn’t. Of course every outfitter salt baiting elk knows the key to getting elk diverting to salt in the fall is placing salt in the spring …when the elk were on their migration to the Park. The amount consumed was minimal when all there was a day or two at most in the Spring and maybe less of that before being shot in the staked out “hunters”. But the affect on druggy elk was not.
      Two days of use in the year and one has an elk changing its behavior.

      And what about no human foods being in this bear. The bear folks making this summary have blinders on this one when it comes to outfitter camps. The cubes pulled out of those wall tents I talked of in the earlier post were cubes, high protein alfalfa cubes to be exact, no different protein than what a bear loves to eat in those clover patches. What else is in it? Clay. Now pellets have some grain but there is little of this in camps compared to cubes because the cubes are needed for horses tied up at night so as ready for hunting early next morning.

      And for grain, what is it in those camps and also in the Park Service patrol cabins, OATS…difinitely not of C4 southern clime origins. It would come across no diferent in analysis than those timothy, rye and native seed heads that bears forage.

      Maybe wwy is one of those acreage horse people where they feed a hot mix with corn, but I have yet to see this expensive mix in outfitter camps. I guess the bear experts talking of lack of human foods in this bear also must not know the difference either.

      I have followed lots of bears in Thorofare country dropping a loaf here and there along the way that is full of oats. Just back track and it leads to a horse or outfitter camp. Private camp means they hung the grain too low…outfitter camp means one finds a tack or feed tent with stuff strewn around.

      And what about the rest of this alien bear investigation? I read nothing of talking to outfitters in the area. It was a ten year old bear…and I guarentee with three little cubs from the fall before these outfitters know a LOT about this bear.

      Even without cubs she was a “local”. Females have a smaller home and she would have been known to any outfitter in the area. Why are they not asking outfitters for possible habituation? Did they even check the hide for buck shot? The bear in question was not a park interior bear. She was the perfect example of park boundary bear – outfitter interaction potential.

      I’d have to say they know they won’t get a straight answer from the outfitters, but at the same time any investigator would find out who these guys employeed (guide licenses) and talk with them.

      Why don’t they pursue this? because by finding out means action on the ground. And being “fat, dumb and happy” also means no culpability in law suits…something imminent in the Shoshone fatality.

      Who in Interagency, and associated FS and G&F, wants to take on the hunter community? None. The answers to habituation and resultant agrresive behavior in bears is there when it comes to hunters. Inact the measures needed and a prominent cause and effect on humans …. and bears…. is eliminated.

      Instead we get a watered down “investigative” report dealing with yogi bear camper possible scenarios being eliminated. And so we get a throw up the hands and say “shit happens”.

      And thus it is, wwy, why you need to get out a roll, or better yet an eight pack, of toilet paper, look in the mirror for evidence (you will be suprised what you find), and wipe real well, from the neck to the ankles. I say a mirror because don’t expect those you are pitter pattering around with to give a hand.

    • Linda Hunter says:

      Bob Jackson what you describe makes a lot of sense to me. Bears are surviving and they have all day and night to find stuff to eat with those powerful noses and anything that works gets tried again. If in fact these bears found food around tents I would believe they were looking for the same thing and were probably surprised to find humans instead. There is an article that mentions an outfitter a mile away:

  8. Alan says:

    Something my wife and I have been kicking around. We are wondering whether the fact that Mr. Kammer was a fisherman could possibly have contributed to his being the only victim killed and partially consumed? Could he possibly have been sleeping in the same clothes that he had been fishing (or possibly even cleaning fish) in? No food was found in his tent, but what about scents?
    While unlikely that this could have been the cause of the overall attack, since others (presumably non-fishermen?) were attacked, is it possible that this could have been responsible, at least in part, for the far more violent and deadly attack on Mr. Kammer?
    Also, is it just me or does this timetable make no sense?
    ” The initial attack was inflicted on Mr. Ronald Singer at approximately 0200 hours, who was bitten through his tent on his lower left leg. Mr. Singer punched the bear several times and the bear left. The second attack was inflicted on Mrs. Deborah Freele at approximately 0215 hours; she was initially bitten on her upper left arm and then bitten on her lower left arm.” Did Mr. Singer just punch at the bear and go back to sleep? Did he not think that it might be a danger to other people in the camp? And did Mrs. Freele not want to wake anybody up after being bitten FIFTEEN MINUTES later?
    Fortunately I have never been in this situation, but I would at least hope that I would somehow warn others that there was a bear in camp trying to bite people! It does say that these times are approximate. Perhaps this all happened faster than the approximate times indicate.

    • pointswest says:

      Stigler walked to Cooke City and made a 911 call just after his attack. The audio recording of the call was aired on CNN. During the call, Stigler said he heard a scream coming from the campground…that the bear had attacked someone else.

      So the second attack came while Stigler was making his 911 call.

      I doubt Kramer’s being a fisherman had much to do with his demise. I think the bear simply became more aggressive and more brazen with each attack and you know the old adage…third time’s a charm.

    • Deb says:

      I didn’t hear the attack on Ron Singer, so I can’t tell you the time frame from when he was attacked and how long it was before I was attacked. I can tell you I screamed bloody murder during the first 30 seconds or more, and I screamed “I’m being attacked by a bear” more than once, in the hope others would hear and know what was going on. The bear had a hold of me the whole time. I could not get up and run during OR after. It was like being stuck in a farm auger, getting tighter and tighter. It let go a couple of very quick times and rearranged it’s hold on me. Also during that time I received a bite to my left calf. (later determined to probably have come from one of the cubs). I went quiet when I realized this bear was only becoming more aggressive with each time I was screamed. After about 7 or 8 seconds it relaxed and then dropped me. I expected to feel it go for my gut next. It didn’t. I believe it left the area when it heard the activities of the campers in the site next to me. I heard them all make a dash for their truck then the door slam, while I was waiting and hope for the bear to let me go. Then they laid on the horn.
      Once I realized the bear was not standing over me, I quietly reached around to get my bear spay which had been behind me, between the bear and I. I armed it, then I started yelling for help. I didn’t stop yelling until help finally arrived at least 15 minutes later. In that time I took my shirt off and tourniqued my arm as best I could. I couldn’t get up without assistance. I heard the folks next to our site yell that they were going to get help…then they drove off, honking and yelling through camp. A couple of minutes after that, the SUV with Ron Singer inside drove past. They slowed down to almost a stop in front of my site but then proceeded on into town.
      Then it was relatively quiet except for me yelling. Those were the longest most lonely and terrifying minutes of my life. It seemed like hours.

      I believe the bear was predatory in all three attacks. I also think that it was unsure. It was unsettled enough with three cubs and the activities in my area of the campground that it caused it to move on from my site to Mr Kammer’s campsite which was 1/4 mile from mine. I think the bear was able to get Mr Kammer in such a way that he was unable to respond or make noise as no one in that section heard a thing.

      I hope that clarifies what I was doing for those 15-20 minutes.

      Also I did go fishing that day. Like Mr Kammer, I am an avid fly angler. I was fishing from 6 AM until about 1 PM. All fish were released. I changed my clothes when I returned to the site and I changed again at bed time, which was my normal routine.

    • JEFF E says:

      Deb, thank you for your account of events. It is always an iffy thing to depend on media outlets due to editing.
      A question I have is what do you think or have you heard as to why the bear immediately retreated from Mr. Singler when he fought back,however with you the bear became more aggressive. You also apparently were bitten by one of the cubs. did the authorities ask what you thought about sending these cubs to a zoo as now at least one of them will have been imprinted by that event and would, it would seem, be more prone to attacking a human.

    • Deb says:

      I have to speculate with the attack on Ron Singer. He was in a tent with his girlfriend and a dog. He’s strong. He’s on a collage wrestling team. He didn’t know what had him but rather just reacted, pounding on the bears snout as hard as he could. His tent mate may have also been helping. I think the bear gave up for the same reasons it gave up on me. Unsure what it was dealing with and wary with cubs to protect. As for me…the bear had me from behind. I had been sleeping on my right side. It had my left elbow pinning me to the ground on my right side where I couldn’t really move. I was unable to get into a position where I could hit the bear and I was also thinking a the time that at 58 I was not as strong as I was say 10 years before where I MIGHT have been able to hit the bear hard enough. I was thinking if I hit this thing I would only make it bring its paws into play…which oddly it never did. If it had, I hate to think about it. I knew I couldn’t hurt it. If I could have accessed my bear spray, that would have been my best option. I couldn’t get it. So playing dead was a long shot…but the only one I had. I really expected that it would start to devour me once it had immobilized me. I thought it may give me one small chance to get the bear spray or kick if it would drop me. When it did finally drop me, I was surprised that it didn’t come back for me. I was afraid to move a mussel for a few seconds. Then when it didn’t start back on me, I took that change to get the bear spay.

      I had many discussions with the authorities. It was those discussions that got me thinking about the sequence of the event…the bites. What’s in the report is what I told them in the ER that night or very early the next morning after recovery… I really don’t remember but it was very early on. I really didn’t have it together enough to think it through, nor did I know there were cubs with this bear when I had given them my statement. At the time I was assuming one bear. Upon retrospect and knowing that there were other bears there, I can very easily see that the leg bite was not from the sow, but rather a cub. The sequence was too quick and I never really felt the sow let go of the arm for more than a split second to get a better position. The leg bit was not the last bite.

      As far as the cubs were concerned…we did talk about it. The fellow that talked with me would have liked to see all of them put down, but I think public pressure played a huge roll in their final decision. I did give my opinion. I thought the sow should be put down because I didn’t think they could guarantee to keep here away from all human interaction in the future. If it was a normal human vs bear encounter ie: defensive bear behavior, then I would have been happy to give her a pass. Reality was, this was a predatory attack. I was quite content with the cubs going to a facility. I didn’t think they should be returned to the wild for the soul reason that they were learning that sleeping humans in tents were prey, an easy food source. I believe they did participate in what happened to Mr. Kammer. I don’t think they can unlearn that, or rather I didn’t want it on my conscience if one of them hit a campground a few years down the road and harmed someone. I’m fine with this outcome. The cubs will have an easy care free life and hopefully they can be put to good use, re: education tools. I also hope that they can learn to trust and accept their keepers. I really hate to see the destruction of such magnificent animals if it isn’t 100% necessary. The zoo volunteered to take the cubs in. I don’t think it was forced on them. If in the future these cubs prove to be a dangerous handful for those having to work with them, then I wouldn’t mind a rug on my wall. But I’m for giving them at least a chance at life.

    • Robert Hoskins says:


      I hope that you are recovering and are well. Thank you for telling your story here. I’m working on an article about this incident and the other incident in June near Cody, Wyoming where botanist Frank Evert was killed by a bear that had been trapped, drugged, and prematurely released. If you are willing to talk with me, please contact me at and I’ll set up a time to call.


      Robert Hoskins
      Crowheart Wyoming

  9. Neil says:

    Ease up. Bob might be wrong about this bear but is probably right about more outfitters than you’d like him to be.
    We’re probably never going to know what happened to this bear.
    It’s a tragedy all around — mother nature can be bitch sometimes.

  10. mikepost says:

    Alan, in my experience people who go thru this kind of traumatic experience are generally focussed upon themselves, usually in a bit of physical shock (the real diagnosable dangerous condition) and effected by a not so unreal fear that if they come out of the tent/camper and/or make a noise they will be attacked again. Hearing someone else being victimized only reinforces that self-preservation tunnel vision. In my view it would be a very exceptional person who would run out banging pots and pans and sounding the alarm after being attacked. Don’t hold it against these folks as long as there is no evidence that they did anything that helped attract the bears and/or initiate the attack.

  11. Alan says:

    I don’t hold it against them. I can only imagine what they were going through. Still, fifteen minutes seems a long time. Mrs. Freele says that she played dead! To me the ability to do that under the circumstances is remarkable in itself. We all know that is the right thing to do, but doing it! It is the right thing to do EXCEPT in the case of a predatory bear (one looking at you as food), when the advice is to fight back. In this case both tactics seemed to have worked; Mr. Singer fought back and Mrs. Freele played dead. Which makes me wonder if the bear was initially “predatory” (looking for food in the form of a human being). But then there is poor Mr. Kammer. Something said “food” to what MAY have just been a curious bear. Was it his clothes? Or even his hands and skin after handling fish? Who knows?

    • pointswest says:

      The campsites are along a road going down the valley that and are in timber. The campground may not have been full and people may have been fairly spread out. As mentioned above, Stigler, who was on the west end of the campground, walked or drove to Cooke City and made a 911 call right after his attack. He probably assumed the bear was frightened and for good. He did not know grizzlies. No one else in the campground may have heard this first attack.

      During the 911 call, Stigler says he just heard a scream and that someone else was just attacked. If he heard the scream from Deb Freele while at Cooke City, it must have been a loud scream and Deb’s scream probaby roused other campers. I am assuming that Deb’s scream did wake other campers and the sounds of them emerging from their tents is what ran the bears back into the timber for the second time.

      I am futher assuming that Kammer’s campsite was at the far east end of the campground and that no one heard his attack. The bears may have been able to hear the people attending to Deb Freele but the starving and frustrated sow was more determined obtain food in her third attack. She and her cubs brazenly killed and ate the man while they could clearly hear people attending to Deb Freele. I doubt anyone awake in the campground could imagine that bears might be eating a fellow camper only a few hundred yards away at another campsite.

    • Alan says:

      A couple of corrections to your statements. The report clearly states that Mr. Singer was being given first aid at the campground when he heard the scream, not making a phone call. It further states that he was driven to Cooke City, he did not walk. The campground IS very spread out and there is noise from the creek (which I had forgotten about…I have camped there), but the report says that 24 of 27 sites were occupied (close to a full house). The report only makes the assumption that Mr. Kammer was the last victim, but clearly states that the time of his attack is unknown…..he could have been first.
      I do know that 35 years or so ago, when I first started camping in bear country, that one of the first things I was told was never sleep in the same clothes that you had fished in (or for that matter, even eaten in), and I have always followed that rule. My “day” clothes go into a bag that either gets hung with my food or placed in a bear-proof storage locker. Don’t know if Mr. Kammer did that or not. It is unlikely that anyone will ever know what really happened that night.

    • pointswest says:

      Yes…I noticed the 24 of 27 campsites information just after I posted.

      The 911 call has been posted on YouTube.

      In fact there were two 911 calls. The one I heard on CNN was not Stigler but was Stigler’s girlfriend’s father. There was another 911 call too from someone reporting the attack to Deb Freele. So it sounds like many people were woken up and responding to the attacks.

      I think my imagined sequence of events is basically correct except that there were several people up and responding to the victims. The sow and her cubs simply were not frightened away by people and the people who were up and helping the victims assumed the bear had been frightened off and would not return with so many people around with lights and making sound. They were wrong. The sow just moved further to the east and attacked again.

    • Deb says:

      The people with Ron Singer made the 911 call from the hotel Super 8 in town. The second call to 911 was made from the Soda Butte Lodge, across the street, by the folks who brought me into town. From there we went to the Super 8, after we saw some first responders drive past us and go over there. I was pretty shocky…so it’s all a little sketchy.

    • pointswest says:

      Deb…wow…what a story. Thanks for sharing and I am glad you are able to talk about your ordeal. It sounds to me like your reactions saved your life. Your screams did wake the other campers so they could help. Then your playing dead did seem to extinguish the bear’s attack impulse so that she had time to evaluate her situation and see the threat of the other campers in the distance. In fact, I’d say you probably threaded the needle.

      Thanks again for sharing your incredible story and I wish a a speedy recovery. Wow!

  12. Nancy says:

    Mazzola said in his bankruptcy filing in May in federal court in Cleveland that he owned two white tigers, two Bengal tigers, an African lion, eight bears and 12 wolves. The filing also listed “Ceasar the Wrestling Bear” as a trademark Mazzola held.

    This is so fricken sad and wrong, for the animals he’s been allowed to somehow “legally” obtain and keep as hostages for entertainment purposes.

    • jon says:

      You’re right 100% right Nancy. You should not be allowed to keep animals like bears, tigers, lions, etc as pets. They are not pets. They belong in the wild.

    • mikepost says:

      Jon, what happens when the choice is zoo (if one will take the animal), private preserve or euthanasia? For most of these animals going back to the wild is not an option due to habituation, injury, or other “pet” mutilation like declawing or defanging. What is the best choice? Too bad they can’t tell us…

    • jon says:

      In a case like that where a zoo or death are the only options, send the animals to a zoo. The fact is it should be illegal for people to own exotic pets, but unfortunately, it’s not.

    • JB says:


      Most zoos won’t just take any animal, especially large carnivores that are extremely expensive to care for.

    • jon says:

      Animal sanctuaries and some zoos have taken in animals that were once exotic pets. Animal sanctuaries moreso than zoos.

    • Save bears says:

      Sanctuaries, Zoo’s and most Menageries are overseen and licensed by the same authority, if they have grizzlies, tigers, lions, they are well inspected and have requirements that have to be met in order to stay in business..

    • pointswest says:

      People have trained European Brown bears as circus animals for centuries. I’m sure many get mauled but not all.

      The thing about zoos and circus animals is that they intrest the public in these animals and this will help the species. If people care about grizzlies, they will be much more willing to make sacrafices to help ensure their survival.

      Seeing a grizzly in the wild is a rare event.

  13. Nancy says:

    But evertime there’s an incident like this Mikepost, they are trying to tell us, don’t you think?

    • Save bears says:

      Offer a reasonable solution That would offer the animal a chance to live, because many of these animals are excess animals that have one alternative, that is death because they can’t live in the wild, they are not trained to survive in the wild…they are habituated to humans and depend on humans…there are very few people that have trained animals to live in the wild..we just don’t have the skills to teach them what they need to know…

    • Save bears says:

      By the way Jon, I hope I was not hasty and my “Time out” is over!


    • jon says:

      The animals are getting us back for how badly and horrific we sometimes treat them.

  14. Nancy says:

    Are they excess animals SB or part of an industry that just shouldn’t be allowed to continue?

    • Save bears says:


      You will never get rid of the road side menagerie and you certainly are not going to get rid of the Zoo’s, Look at Casey Anderson, a very smart as well and educational person, who does specials on the Nat Geo Channel, I enjoy and learn from them quite often, bu if they were to close his place, your talking about 3 very healthy Grizzly bears that have taught numerous people about Grizzly bears that would have to be killed, there is a guy I met in Florida, that has a Grizz, named Tonk, who is used to teach kids and adults about Grizzly bears, he would have to be killed..none of these full grown educational bears could be returned to the wild….Is that what your wanting? Without the education, people will fear, and more grizzly interactions will result in death…for both humans as well as bears…now lets talk about the Grizzly Discover Center, that not only teaches people about bears, but does as well about wolves to dis spell the myths associated with wolves, the bears are also used to test bear proof articles to keep bears from getting into human food and garbage, at last count they have tested over 100 products that are now in campgrounds in Yellowstone and surrounding areas, keeping bears out of human food and garbage..

      One of the bears in West Yellowstone is de-clawed and would never survive, and the others have either been rescued or raised there, they would have to be destroyed! Is that what your suggesting? I sure hope not, much of our understanding as well as loosing our fears associated with the Big Bad Wolf and The Ferocious Grizzly bear have been overcome by many millions of people because of these animals.

      But you think the industry should not exist? The three cubs in this Soda Butte campground incident would now be dead if that is the way it was handled…

    • Save bears says:

      Also Nancy,

      I will say, if you think the industry should not exist, then you are suggesting, that when a situation happens or a problem is recognized, then the only option is to destroy the animal, because the only other option is to destroy the humans, and we know that is not going to happen, I agree, there are some bad operations out there, but there are many, many good operations that give the animals there last chance at survival..but if they don’t exist, then there is only one choice..

    • jon says:

      I like Casey Anderson’s show, but you call him very smart, more like very stupid. He is another Timmy Treadwell waiting to happen. Yes, Brutus was raised in captivity, but it is only a matter of time before that 800- 1000 pound grizzly Casey calls his best friends and throws parties for brutus mauls him to death. captivity raised animals are just as dangerous as wild ones, sometimes even more.

    • jon says:

      I am against zoos. I don’t believe wild animals should be caged up for human entertainment. Some of these zoos treat their animals like shit. Although I disagree with these kinda things, if it comes down to putting the animal down or putting it in a zoo, I will always go with the zoo simply because that animal gets to live out its life.

    • Save bears says:

      Casey is no Tim Treadwell, Casey is a well trained as well as a Master’s Degree holder in Wildlife Biology, specifically specialized in Predators..

      Jon, I have visited Casey many times as well as have done educational programs with him, I also knew Tim, there is no comparison between the two, Tim was a thrill seeker with no education, ex-drug addict, Casey is a very smart and well educated Wildlife Biologist…

      Research before opening your mouth and inserting both feet..

    • Save bears says:

      Oh, so given the only choice you choose the zoo? Interesting for someone that says animals should not live in captivity, but the only other option is death! Zoo animal are not just side show entertainment, much of what is known about animals these days are because of zoos! Most of the reason people want to preserve animals is because of zoos, it gave us an opportunity to learn about them, instead of fear them..

    • jon says:

      It does not matter if Casey is well trained. The fact is one of these days Brutus is going to maul him to death for whatever reason. That guy casey is sending the wrong message to people. Training has nothing to do with it. All of the training in the world is not going to save you if a big grizzly decides to maul you to death. Look at the guy on tv, throwing birthday parties for his best friend which happens to be a 1000 pd grizzly bear. Mark my words sb, it’s only a matter of time before Casey becomes bear food.

    • Save bears says:


      I am bowing out, because Jon, I can again see where this is going, if the only options are death or being put in a zoo and treated like shit, you would rather it be put in the zoo…remember, there is only two options for many of these animals..

    • Save bears says:


      You must be drinking tonight and I make it a rule to never argue with a drunk..

      Good night, you have never met Casey, you base all of your talking points on media articles and TV shows, it would do you good to get out and actually interact with some of these subjects you condemn, because your doing nothing but talking out the side of your mouth..

      Of course now, beings Casey will be killed, that puts me in the same light, as I have done educational programs with him and Brutus, and Casey respects the environment quite a bit, far more than most visitors around bears in I will choose to not mark your words, as I know first hand, you on the other hand…

    • jon says:

      sb, just incase you didn’t know, Dave Salmoni who I am sure you heard of is what some would consider a big cat expert and he has worked with big cats hands on and guess what, one of the lions he worked with attacked him and almost took his hand off. I understand you want to defend Casey and stick up for him just because you know him personally and have done things with him, but ask most people and they will call him a crazy. Being best friends with a 1000 grizzly bear is not a smart thing to do. It is suicide and I know Casey probably thinks big brutus would never hurt him, but he is wrong. Any bear biologist will frown upon with what Casey is doing.

    • jon says:

      I don’t drink sb. I don’t care if Casey respects the environment. This is not what it is about. I am talking about the fact that he walks around with a 1000 pound grizzly that he calls his best friend and throws birthday parties for him. Any bear biologist will frown upon what this guy is doing. mark my words sb, it will only be a matter of time before Casey is dead. One of these days, the bear Casey calls his best friend will maul him to death. Don’t say I didn’t tell you so.

    • Save bears says:


      Virtually every bear biologist I know and it is a lot of them, respect Casey and consult with him quite often, and Casey is always aware of what could happen..His programs are endorsed by every biologist that I worked with at FWP as well as those in Wyoming, and Idaho, he is often invited to Alaska by their Dept of Game and Fish to give lectures to their employees as well as talk at the schools..Jon, simply put, you have no idea what your talking about..The Canadian Game Dept’s also have him as a guest lecture teacher as well..

      I am not defending, or condemning, I am simply telling you as it is, Two of the worlds most respected Bear Biologists have wrote letters of recommendation and endorsement of his work with bears..

      • nck says:

        Im SURE the “work” other biologists have endorsed are MUCH more important than the stuff Jon is stating. I REALLY doubt that they were talking about bear birthday parties…so stop trying to make it seem as though THAT is what biologist are touting.

    • Save bears says:

      “don’t say I didn’t tell you so”

      And your area of expertise and education is Jon?

    • jon says:

      Alright, I said what I wanted to say. I would like to get other people’s opinions on this Casey Anderson guy. For those that don’t know, Casey has a show called grizzly expedition or something like that. I have seen all of his shows. He is friends with a 1000 pound grizzly who he taks wherever he goes and even throws birthday parties forhim and allows him to be around his wife and family. This is a disaster waiting to happen and this sends the wrong message. Grizzly bears are not your friend. It’s only a matter of time before Casey is mauled to death. Any person who has worked hands on with big predators will tell you working with them is very dangerous and it’s only a matter of time before you are attacked. It happened with Dave Salmoni, it will happen to Casey sometime down the line.

    • Save bears says:


      Respect for the environment not only includes the ecosystem it also include the wildlife that inhabit that environment, that is wildlife biology 101 Jon, with all of the “Knowledge” you profess you should know that!

    • jon says:

      So, those bear biologists think it’s ok and perfectly normal to be taking a 1000 pound grizzly bear with you on walks and hikes and throwing birthday parties for him and having him around your friends and family? Yeah ok sb, whatever you say. lol The sad thing is you are supposed to be a biologist and you think this kinda behavior is alright.

    • Save bears says:


      There are many people that have worked with large predators their whole life and never been attacked or mauled..

      You said what you wanted, so did I, and I will also let you know, every single one of them that regularly work with these large animals know it can happen, but it does not always happen..

      I worked with Elk and Bison and I have got the crap kicked out of me more than once…I have also had car accidents, and even got shot when in combat, I knew it could happen and thought it would not happen, but accepted that risk, willingly and I am still here arguing with people like you..and may have very well not been without good doctors ..

      • nck says:

        Again….just WHY are “facts” like you being in combat, or working with elk or deer or whatever have ANYTING to do with JONS statement that CA will get hurt someday.

        You say many have NEVER been hurt, and I can say that MANY people have been hurt and killed will “working” with animals they thought they had a “special” relationship with…….

    • jon says:

      sb, do you think it sends the right message and do you think it’s ok to be taking a full grown 1000 pound grizzly bear for walks and hikes and throwing birthday parties for him and calling him your best friend and having him around your loved ones? If you think this is acceptable behavior, you are a terrible biologist.

    • jon says:

      I am sure Casey has done a lot of work for bears, but the problem here is his “friendship” with a 1000 POUND grizzly bear who he takes for walks and hikes and throws birthday parties for. Any wildlife expert will tell you that is crazy and sooner or later, brutus is going to kill casey. You are only defending him simply because you know him personally and consider him a friend.

    • Save bears says:


      Casey is not my friend, he is simply a colleague, I don’t socialize with him..

      Anyway, I have sent you an email, and have let you know what I am going to do, you keep playing the games, but I intend to follow a different path where you are concerned..

    • jon says:

      Sorry sb, but it has been proven and it has happened already. I told you about Dave Salmoni being attacked by a captive lion he was working with. The facts are not on your side this time. Casey raised brutus since he was a little cub I believe. All of the training in the world is not going to prevent a captive animal from attacking you when it wants to and I don’t doubt bear biologists have said good things about casey, but I really wonder what their opinions and thoughts would be on Casey taking his best friend which happens to be a 1000 pound grizzly bear on walks and hikes with him and throws birthday parties for him and has him around his whole family. Sooner or later Brutus will attack Casey. You stick up for him simply because he is your friend. That is understandable.

    • jon says:

      You said what you wanted, so did I, and I will also let you know, every single one of them that regularly work with these large animals know it can happen, but it does not always happen..

      thank you sb. Is brutus 800 or 1000 pounds? He is a monster bear.

    • jon says:

      sb, I am not playing games. We are simply having a convo, one that got outta hand, but still a convo none the less. I will check your email later.

    • Save bears says:

      Yup Jon,

      I am that terrible biologist that would not doctor reports, so that the state game agency could gather traction against wolves, you should wish you would have as many terrible biologists around like me…

      Now I would advise you to stop with the personal judgments of what type of biologist I am, or you may very well find your cutting your nose off to spite your face, anonymity on the net is not quite a good as you might think it is..

    • Save bears says:

      Good night Jon..

    • jon says:

      I responded to your email.

    • jon says:

      sb, even though we disagree, i would never tell Ralph to ban you from this site like you are doing to me right now. If Ralph wants me to take a break from here or whatever, I will do as he says, but I would never tell Ralph to ban you if if we disagree on some things, that is something I don’t or won’t ever do. Good night

    • Save bears says:


      Unfortunately you did exactly what I expected you to, I would expect what we discuss in private email would remain private?

      Guess I was wrong..

    • pointswest says:

      I posted above at the wrong prompt….

      People have trained European Brown bears as circus animals for centuries. I’m sure many get mauled but not all.

      The thing about zoos and circus animals is that they intrest the public in these animals and this will help the species. If people care about grizzlies, they will be much more willing to make sacrafices to help ensure their survival.

      Seeing a grizzly in the wild is a rare event.

    • Save bears says:

      By the way Jon,

      I can’t tell Ralph to do anything, it is blog, but I do have the ability to request him do something, then the ball is in his court…

  15. jon says:

    sb, if its between death or being placed in a zoo, I will always pick the zoo as the animal gets to live, but yeah, animals should not live in captivity, but that is not the way the world is. In a perfect world, wild animals would not be in zoos or cages and be allowed to live the way they should, out in the wild. If it’s a choice between captivity or death, I will always pick captivity even though for the most part, I am against animals living in captivity. I believe they should be free, but as I said, the world isn’t like that.

    • Save bears says:


      You have to be one of the most contradictory people I have ever corresponded with…

    • jon says:

      What is so hard to understand? I told you I am against animals living in captivity, but if it’s a choice of death or captivity, I prefer captivity over the animal being killed. Are you just throwing jabs at me because I am speaking the truth about your friend Casey Anderson? I wonder what professional biologists would think of Casey’s actions walking around and hugging a 1000 pound grizzly bear and throwing b-day parties for him. It’s only amatter of time before your friend becomes Brutus next meal. Some say captive animals are more dangerous than wild ones. You should know that.

    • Save bears says:


      Knowing someone and doing work with them, does not make them your friend, I work with many people every year, that are not my friend, if you think that makes them a friend, then you have a long ways to go, to understand working on things together and having a friendship..

    • Save bears says:

      Captive animals CAN be more dangerous than wild animals, they, however are NOT always more dangerous than wild animals..

      See the difference Jon, is I have experience, you are obviously a good reader, with little experience..which is not bad, but you have no flexibility to look at anything other than your opinion, you will not change your position as you learn..

      Your opinions are set in stone, your not willing to look at anything remind of me of my grandmother when she was alive, it is either your way or the variance..

    • jon says:

      You do not need any experience what so ever to know that captive animals can be dangerous sb. That just plain ol common sense that most people already know. No biology degree required, some common sense will do the trick.

    • Save bears says:


      did you gloss over where I said in capital letters that captive animals CAN be more dangerous than wild animals?

    • jon says:

      sb, I apologize for calling you a terrible biologist. Sometimes things get out of hands I apologize if I offended you. It was a difference of opinion and nothing more.

    • Save bears says:


      Thanks, I agree it was simply a difference of opinion. Please accept my apologies as well.

    • jon says:

      Apology accepted sb. Good night


    • pointswest says:

      …does this mean I need to kill my hamster?

    • Angela says:

      Living is dangerous. Sometimes what you love to do is dangerous and since you want to live your life doing what you love, you accept that element of risk. It’s up to every individual to decide what they accept and shouldn’t be up to others to make them safe. There have been numerous drownings here in the Seattle area this past several weeks. From people in fine shape jumping into a lake for a little swim, or tripping while wading in the river. You take a risk just eating a hamburger. A guy just contracted hantavirus in Washington from one little mouse coming into his tent when he was camping for ONE NIGHT. shit happens.

  16. Save bears says:



  17. Nancy says:

    SB, didn’t mean to bail out on the conversation last night, long work week. My comment on the industry had to do with the trade in wild or exotic animals. being housed in cramped and inhuman conditions, with little or no regulation. Alot of these animals do end up in sanctuaries and its fortunate for them. And zoos today are a far cry from what they use to be like. I visited the Columbus Zoo before Jack Hanna took over and it was a sad place. Big cats pacing back and forth in tiny cages.

    Hanna transformed that zoo and while he may have been a bit of a showman, I think he truely cared about the welfare of the animals. Who can forget the Letterman show when he brought the wolverine on? It was like trying to hanging on to a big slinky. I was in stitches watching that segment!!! Hanna may have been entertaining but he was also trying to educate people about wildlife.

  18. pointswest says:

    Movie clip about Casey Anderson’s Montana Grizzly Encounters…

  19. Connie says:

    An interesting discourse, SB and Jon. For the most part, I tend to agree that having a grizzly as a friend is tempting fate. But what about Doug Seuss and Bart the Bear? Part of me wants to believe that a man and bear could be so closely bonded that true affection exists, especially if the bear was raised from a cub. Yeah, I know . . . naive.

    • Connie,

      People can and do live with many animals, e.g., pets; and all of them injure their “owners” from time to time.

      Some kinds of animals are much more dangerous and likely to harm their owner than others. I mean more dangerous in frequency of things going wrong per capita of pet and owner.

      A grizzly can be a pet of sorts, but very dangerous.

      In terms of total danger added up for the entire population, however, nothing compares to dogs in the number of injuries to the owners

  20. Deb says:

    Wow…i just found this web site. It’s nice to find one where participants can talk intelligently about this event. I want to wade in, but I’m pressed for time at the moment. I’m the female victim in this case. I’ve been able to reflect on many of the questions that have come up and I do have my own perspective on certain things like why playing dead worked for me, in a predatory attack…and yes it was predatory.
    My biggest issue was working out why the bear left me, to go on to Mr. Kammer’s tent. I think I have an answer for that also.
    I will also state that I to was fishing that day. I’m an avid fly angler, just as Mr Kammer was. I don’t know about Ron Singer, however I did hear his mother state that he was fishing just a couple days AFTER this event took place, so it was quite possible he was in fact fishing before the event.
    More on that later.
    Have to run but I would love to try and help answer your questions from my perspective.

    • Deb,

      Thank you for telling us about your awful experience and your idea about a common denominator among those attacked.

    • Bob L. says:

      BTW, my wife was also interviewed by the Australian news crew that did the documentary outside the campground the morning after the attacks. She was just glad they didn’t use her footage because she was afraid that she would end up on some 80 ft tall IMAX screen in Australia on HD film after not having showered for 3 days. In her words, “That would just be GROSS”. But you pulled it off perfectly Deb! You looked great in your interviews!

  21. Linda Hunter says:

    Deb thank you for joining us. For those of you who haven’t done it, click on Deb’s name and see the Australian film made about her attack. ( I couldn’t get the first one to play) Except for the horrific dramatizations done by the film crew to attempt to give us an impression of how that experience might feel. . Deb you can fill us in on whether that was accurate or not. . the film is quite good. After having been stalked a couple of times in broad daylight by black bears I can sort of understand the terror. . fortunately for me I already knew what to do about those bears and was able to easily defuse the situation. With pepper spray in your tent you did all the right things and I am incredibly impressed by your ability to play dead. .don’t ever think that you aren’t strong anymore.

    • Bob L. says:

      A couple of points here. Our family was just 3 campsites away from Deb the night of the attacks (early Wednesday morning) and we were smack dab in between Deb’s site and Mr. Kammer’s site. And as for the previous comments I can tell you that the bear attacks had absolutely nothing to do with the smell of fish. We had gone fishing on Monday and caught 10 nice pan-sized fish which we cleaned and brought back to camp. That night (Monday night) we skinned the fish and put the fish heads and skin in the bear-resistant trash receptacle which was just across the road from us. If you look at the report there are 4 trash receptacles in the campgroud. 3 of them had bear tracks around them, one did not. The only receptacle that didn’t have tracks around it was the one just across the road from our camp where I had put the fish heads and skin just 24 hours previously. Also, we cooked the fish on our stove on Monday night on the campground table so there was plenty of residual fish smell around. But the bear never entered our campsite.

      Secondly, we never heard any honking or yelling that night. The only thing we heard was the ranger who walked up to out tent (about 40 ft off the road) at 3:40 am and asked the 4 of us if we knew there had been a bear attack that night. We hadn’t heard a thing so of course we didn’t know. We were glad to have the Ranger come by and tell us to leave but looking back at it we were lucky since there was more than an hour after the attacks before the Ranger came and woke us up.

      Deb, I’m so glad you are a strong woman and had the presence of mind to play dead. I’m not sure I would have been as calm. We met your husband in Cooke City the morning of the attacks in the Cooke City Fire Hall. Looking back at it I think he was in quite a bit of shock as you can well imagine. We offered to take him to Cody when we learned that you were there but he said he had it covered. Looking back at it I think we would have been a little more forceful about our offer realizing that he was probably still in heavy shock and probably not in the best mindset to drive to Cody alone. It sounds like he made it there OK though so for that we are grateful.

      I have made brief contact with Mr. Kammer’s widow. She was very grateful for some of the small little details that I could offer about the beautiful area that is Cooke City. Deb, email me if you would like her address and I can send it along to you.


August 2010


‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey