Experienced hiker dead in backcountry near Elephant Back Trail. Found partly buried and partly eaten-

Although Yellowstone bison this year have been throwing tourists around and stomping on them (5 injured mostly due to unwary photo taking), a grizzly bear has finally shown up to add to the annual toll wildlife caused injuries/deaths.

In the first such death since 2011, a hiker traveling cross country, i.e., off-trail, in the forest in the vicinity of the Elephant Back Trail north of Lake has been found by a Park ranger. Reports are that he was eaten and the rest buried, typical grizzly food caching.

The unnamed hiker is reported to be the 7th killed by grizzly bears since 1872 when the Park was established. Non-fatal attacks, usually defensive, are much more common. Outside Yellowstone Park, last year a researcher in the Teton Wilderness, which is to the Park’s southeast, was killed by a griz far from any road and off-trail on the Cub Creek Plateau.

The Park doesn’t like grizzlies that have tasted human flesh, so it is trying to find the bear or bears responsible. The number one suspect is a female grizzly and her cub or cubs. Their tracks were found at the scene.

The number of bear attacks in Yellowstone, including black bears, is far less today than fifty years ago when feeding bears along the Park’s roadways was a popular and very common practice.

About The Author

Ralph Maughan

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.

410 Responses to Griz kills Yellowstone hiker and eats part of him

  1. grdnrmt says:

    Sad news.

  2. Ian Courts says:

    Well, if that headline isn’t sensationalitic I don’t know what is! The facts are still unknown, yet you have already convicted Blaze & her cub. Yes, it MAY have been her, but until DNA results confirm or deny that, surely it is best to just say that a grizzly is believed to have been involved? It may yet be proved to be a defensive act that led to his death & the consumption & caching may not have been the same animal. At this point we just don’t know.

    • skyrim says:

      I’d like to point out Ian that you were the first to add a name to this animal. No one has convicted her here. The authorities will make the call here which is the way it should be. As tragic as this is, no one here must stand responsible for the next hiker the guilty animal crosses pass with, no matter the ultimate reason for the hikers actual cause of death.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        I hesitate calling an animal ‘guilty’, as they are not human. We make allowances for human beings who do not have mental capacity. Animals do what they do. There will not be a risk to other hikers if they take precautions and heed warnings. I know the facts are not in yet – but it appears that from the wording of the park official, an animal will be killed whether the information is complete or not. Why is an ‘experienced’ hiker significant here? I thought going off trail was discouraged?

        People are responsible for their own actions, especially if warnings have been given and posted throughout the park. Also, why doesn’t the park close trails where grizzlies have been seen? Maybe they do – and I realize that people will still ignore signs and warnings. There really is no way to prevent these kinds of accidents except by repeat education and warnings. Killing individual animals really is only a temporary fix, until the next time it happens.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          ^^I say this with all due deference to the highest life form.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          Does ‘experienced’ mean overconfident and careless? Sometimes it can. It’s never a good idea to go out alone, people have had other accidents such as falls. There’s another tourist missing who hasn’t been found. Articles I have read said this person did not have bear spray with him. This is the reality of what can happen in a fatal encounter with a wild animal – it cannot be stressed enough that people need to take care, and pay attention to warnings. I think trails have been closed when grizzlies have been. We need to be told there are places that are off limits.

          • greentangle says:

            I lived and worked in Yellowstone for four years. I did hike alone with bear spray, as did many people I knew. When I first heard this story, I wondered if the hiker was a friend of mine.

            Hopefully for anyone hiking in grizzly country, experienced never means careless. But I can tell you that the first solo hike of the spring was always spookier than all the ones which followed. I don’t think experienced people hiking alone is the problem–everyone I knew who did it was well aware of the possible consequences and was more alert than they would be in a group.

            If as so far reported, this person didn’t have bear spray, that’s a problem, but reports say it was an area he frequented, and it was very close to the developed Lake area. Living in Yellowstone, you don’t take your bear spray every time you step out of your room to go to work or have dinner, but it’s still very possible you’ll encounter predators. During the years I lived in Mammoth, black and grizzly bears, at least one cougar, and wolves were all seen in the developed area, as well as the bison and nearly constantly present elk who are at least as dangerous.

            It’s the NPS response to the situation and their political and legal motivations for that response which are bigger problems than hiking alone. I’d caution anyone against believing that they’re going to be completely open and forthcoming with facts–that’s not how it works. If you look at their Facebook page, you’ll see them spouting the exact same responses over and over. I’m not trying to paint them as the bad guys–I always considered them the good guys in the context of the surrounding states–but it’s the reality of how they operate.

            • Ida Lupine says:

              It may be that to protect human safety and wildlife, access must be restricted whether experienced or not experienced hikers. There is a video on the Park Facebood page that shows a grizzly at the Old Faithful boardwalk (it sure made those visitors cautious!) – so you just ne never know, although the Park personnel say that bears do tend to stay in particular areas. Experienced or not, we don’t stand a prayer alone against a grizzly or mountain lion.

              I personally would not want to insist upon access and my ‘freedom to go anywhere I want’ if it meant wildlife would have to be killed (none of this ‘put down’ crap, what the hell does that term even mean?) just so I could be out there as a demigod of all I survey. This is where the park should step up do something proactive and constructive, and not cave to pressure of visitors.

              • Salle says:

                For those who haven’t been to the park in a while or noticed…

                1. The park holds a ranger program of 20 or so minutes at every visitor info ctr twice a day, every single day where hiking safety protocol is discussed along with how, where and when bear spray should be used. The schedule is printed in a full section of the newspaper that is handed out with entrance passes.

                2. People who live/work in the park do become complacent about the protocols when they are familiar with a certain location or favorite spot. The “I know this place really well” or “I’m experienced and that can’t happen to me” or whatever rationale that one uses to convince themselves of their excetionalism is rather common among contracted employees.

                3. During the 2016 summer season the park has experienced a very consistent average increase in visitation of at least 100,000 more visitors compared to 2015 which also increases human presence stress on all the wildlife from too much vehicle traffic AND hiking traffic. Many more animals are victims of vehicular carelessness as well.

                4. In addition, the increase in backcountry recreation has spiked which means that there are few areas where territorial predators can go to get their food uninhibited by human presence.

                5. The park is severely understaffed as Congress continues to cut funding for personnel and resources who could be patrolling the trails and educating the visitors.

                6. People come to the park with a sense that they can do whatever they want to do… behavior could mean the difference between life and death by nature but that point is lost on many as well.

                Sadly, since humans see themselves as superior to all other life forms, the bear(s) will be destroyed because someone was not following accepted and widely known hiking safety protocols and humans in authority will do this to allegedly protect other humans.

                • Nancy says:

                  ++++1 Salle!

                • Salle says:

                  Amendment to this portion of my original comment:

                  3. During the 2016 summer season the park has experienced a very consistent average increase in visitation of at least 100,000 more visitors each MONTH(!)compared to 2015 which also increases human presence stress on all the wildlife from too much vehicle traffic AND hiking traffic. Many more animals are victims of vehicular carelessness as well.

                  Sorry for the error, this is a very significant point in this picture.


                • Salle says:

                  Good grief…

                  Shouldn’t post before the caffeine kicks in…

                  That’s the 2015 summer (this year) visitation is up over 20% each month from 2014 season (last year) resulting in a consistent average increase of 100,000 more visitors per month.

                  Please forgive all the typos!


                • SAP says:

                  Great insights, Salle (as usual).

                  One clarification: you’re not writing from the future, are you? Your point #3 should say 2015 compared to 2014, right?

                • Ida Lupine says:

                  Yes, thanks! I hope this female bear isn’t the one – now the tune has changed – hiker is now described as ‘he went hiking alone off-trail, without bear spray.’


                  If it is handled this way, I won’t visit again. It is becoming too much of a human circus.

                • Salle says:

                  Hey Nancy and SAP!!

                  Been out of touch for a while.

                  Thanks for catching that SAP, I guess I saw that the same time you did, and thanks for the praise.. I’ve been honing my talking points since that’s what I’ve been doing the past couple years. Most particularly talking about bear country safe hiking protocols and use of bear spray all summer long the past couple years.

                  Are you out at the old same place? If so, let’s figure out a way to meet for lunch sometime, even if we have to wait for wintertime.

      • skyrim says:

        “pass”: kinda like paths. Duh!

  3. Yvette says:

    With it being a mama and cub(s) why would they kill her? It sounds like this guy was an experienced backcountry hiker so he would have been well aware of the risks and would have known how best to handle his situation. It’s an unfortunate and sad situation but why kill her when she was likely feeling that her cub(s) were threatened?

    • Nancy says:

      Yvette, pretty sure the human species has a huge “corner on the market” these days when it comes to killing other species, but what to call it is the question?

      “The stones and bones of the past leave no doubt that murder has been a persistent problem of social living throughout human history. We need to understand why”


      • Outdoorfunnut says:

        I only wear shirts with a top left pocket when out in this type of environment. Pepper spray in my opinion is better than a gun based on experience in the wild, use of the spray on aggressive dogs while biking and things I have read. Yes, I know….. guns obviously can not be used in Yellowstone.

    • Mike Post says:

      Yvette, an unfortunate circumstance for all, bears included. That said, if and when the feeding bear(s) can be identified there is little choice. There is a large body of historical data showing that once a large predator begins to associate humans with food, or worse as food, then there will be a high likelyhood of future human-predator physical interaction. This might very well only be a scavenging incident related to an accidental death but once that meal is eaten and the scent and taste imprinted as a food source, how can you take any chances with the life of the next hiker coming up the trail?

      • Outdoorfunnut says:

        Mike Post, thank you for not putting animals before people.

        • greentangle says:

          I think what you really meant to say was thank you for putting people above (other) animals. Choices are so much simpler when you consider your own species more important than anything else on the planet.

          • Nancy says:


          • Yvette says:

            + one greentangle.

          • Outdoorfunnut says:

            No, I meant what I said. My morality aligns itself with people, all people, black or white animal lover or not, gay or straight, Christian, Muslim, Jew or atheist, gun tooters or animal strokers …. People….. they are all more important than one grizzly or two grizzlies or all grizzlies.

            I don’t cry for lions either.


            • Yvette says:

              People….. they are all more important than one grizzly or two grizzlies or all grizzlies.

              Really? How long do you think people will last without wildlife? That includes all non-human species.

              Not long is the correct answer.

              • skyrim says:

                “What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone, man would die from a great loneliness of spirit. For whatever happens to the beasts, soon happens to man. All things are connected”
                Chief Seattle

            • Salle says:

              In the true grand scheme of nature, humans are the bane of the biosphere.

              Everyone is welcome to their opinion, however, the funny thing about facts – especially scientific facts – is that they don’t require you to believe in them to be true.

              • skyrim says:

                Reminds me:
                …..The law of gravitation worked as efficiently before Newton as after him. The Cosmos would be fairly chaotic if its laws could not operate without the sanction of human belief.
                Paramahansa Yogananda

              • Barb Rupers says:

                + Salle. Thanks for the excellent, as usual, comments.

            • Bob Mc says:

              “These predators and processes ultimately protect humans. This isn’t just about them, it’s about us.”
              –William Ripple

              An experienced hiker, in an area well-known to him. Was he complacent, or did he choose death by grizzly? While I await an URL or two to the massive number of taste of blood studies, I wonder whether retribution killing might be putting us into a moral dilemma, i.e., possibly protecting a few complacent near-future hikers, or endangering whole populations further out? It’s a bit of a trolley problem, although Bear Spray changes the trolley parameters somewhat. Should one throw the switch, when the group on the track was told not to stand on the tracks, while the individual on the siding was not warned?

            • Ralph Maughan says:


              I don’t put any person above every bear.

              In fact I can think of a lot of persons that we would all be better off were they eaten.

        • Salle says:

          That smells like “species-centrism” to me.

          Personally, I think that it would be beneficial for wildlife if there are a couple-few billion fewer of our species around. Since we consider ourselves so special, that issue will be decided by Mother Nature and I don’t think it will be pretty when that happens.

      • Nancy says:

        “There is a large body of historical data showing that once a large predator begins to associate humans with food, or worse as food, then there will be a high likelyhood of future human-predator physical interaction”

        Mike – fact is there were generations of bears in Yellowstone that associated humans with food (entertainment feeding areas & dump sites) and as Ralph pointed out in the article:

        “The unnamed hiker is reported to be the 7th killed by grizzly bears since 1872 when the Park was established. Non-fatal attacks, usually defensive, are much more common”

        No point in getting anxious about it. This guy was a seasoned hiker and knew the risks associated with hiking in bear country.

      • Yvette says:

        Mike, I know we have been conditioned to believe that once an animal gets the taste of humans as food that there will be a likelihood of more encounters where the animal seeks a human as food. We have been conditioned to believe that, but I’ve never actually read anything that shows this is a significant occurrence or even what the probability is that the animal will likely look for humans as food again. I’m not saying it’s wrong. I’m saying I’ve only heard it repeated as truth and never seen evidence. Is there really a large body of evidence that shows this happens? I’m not talking about humans habituating them by feeding them. We know they get conditioned to human food handouts, but to kill humans to eat them once that happens?

        When I was 15 I was living with my brother and his family in a Texas for that school year. My choice. Trying out a small town for something different, but someone my brother knew gave me a baby pig that was the runt of a litter. That little pig got into something and ‘got the taste of blood’ and that became his death sentence. My brother and others believed if pigs ever ‘got the taste of blood’ they became mean and dangerous. Frankly, I suspect it’s more of an old wives tale. I didn’t believe the pig needed to be killed. It was a baby. I leave the door open to what you say. I just need to see more evidence than ‘once they get the taste of blood’.

        Let’s not forget this was a mother bear.

      • MAD says:

        Mr Post, please show me one peer-reviewed, published study done by bear biologists that has definitively shown that once bears have consumed human flesh, that there is now a higher likelihood of deadly interaction between the two species. As a spouse of a bear biologist, and as a person who has spent thousands of hours in close proximity of bears, I can confidently attest to the accepted belief that ALL bears are omnivorous and opportunistic. They will try and eat anything that appeals to their senses. So, in Churchill, Manitoba you see polar bears eating the foam in the seats from snowmobiles because they like the taste, go figure.

        I think spreading wives’ tales about predators is both disingenuous and self-serving. Did you work for a State agency, or are you a rancher?

        Please take the time to read Doug Peacock’s article and Facebook page which logically, and correctly, shows the fallacies, and half-truths perpetuated by certain people to further their agenda.


        • Connie says:

          I was reminded tonight of a 1984 incident of a young Swiss woman, hiking alone, who was attacked and partially consumed. The bear was never heard from again. (Death in Yellowstone, Page 50)

        • JB says:

          When a bear discovers a picnic basket contains tasty treats, the bear is more likely to seek out picnic baskets in the future. And when it discovers those humans its been ignoring actually ARE tasty treats…?

          • Jay says:

            Interesting comment by the Park bear manager in the Slate article Nancy posted was something to the effect that they aren’t willing to use people as test subjects to see whether eating humans is a learned behavior, hence any bear found to consume a human is killed.

            • JB says:

              Exactly. That’s why the argument that there isn’t peer-reviewed research that folks are asking for (above) doesn’t exist. The point is we know that predators form search images for prey when they encounter and consume something new, and we know that cubs learn what to eat from their mother, so there is every reason to suspect that a bear that has killed and consumed someone in the past will be more likely to do so in the future.

              Besides, one need only think through what would be needed to experimentally establish that bears that consume humans are more (or less) likely to do so again to know that such an experiment will never happen. 😉

              • Immer Treue says:

                JB and Jay

                + 2

              • Nancy says:

                “Besides, one need only think through what would be needed to experimentally establish that bears that consume humans are more (or less) likely to do so again to know that such an experiment will never happen”

                JB – given how the west was “won” about a century ago, I would think that grizzles and a whole host of other wildlife, got a taste for humans corpses just laying around (or dug up) yet have managed to avoid looking at us since then, as a potential meal.


                • Ida Lupine says:

                  +1, our modern thinking is ridiculous, isn’t it. These animals are predators, and all capable of it. I really do think if we could, we’d eliminate them all.

                • JB says:


                  Forgive me, but I don’t see your point? You’re discussing bears that are long dead, with many generations in between. What concerns me is what happens when a specific animal consumes human flesh thereby learning that humans are on the menu.

                • Ida Lupine says:

                  A lovely post about Blaze and her cubs by another photographer:


                  The generally accepted policy among bear managers across the country is that any bear who tastes human flesh must be euthanized for “public safety”, regardless of any extenuating circumstances, like those present in this case. This policy, however, is not based on any scientific evidence, as conceded by the highest grizzly bear authorities, including Chris Servheen, the grizzly bear recovery director for the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and Yellowstone National Park itself, nor is it based in any common sense.

                  But bears and humans have coexisted for centuries, and I’m sure in all that time they have passed on learned behaviors of what to eat, and we haven’t been immune. In the 2011 incident, the bears fed on humans too.

                  This is just a policy to satisfy the public, nothing more. But as usual, they’ve underestimated the public.

                • Nancy says:

                  “You’re discussing bears that are long dead, with many generations in between”

                  My point JB was that learned behavior (food sources) are passed on from generation to generation yet grizzles don’t actively pursue humans. What could we have learned from this bear?

                • Jay says:

                  Nancy–that may have occurred 100-plus years ago, but in order for learned behavior to be passed along, the bear has to live long enough to a) learn the behavior, b) have progeny and c) the progeny had to live to be taught. However, the Bears likely to do this behavior (attack and eat people) have been killed in this modern era of firearms. I’d propose this may actually have caused the reverse of what you’re suggesting–a “pacified” grizzly. Grizzlies that act aggressively or have frequent interactions with humans don’t live very long; conversely, shy and reclusive bears survive and pass on these traits. Would be difficult to prove, but the bear of today certainly doesn’t sound like the super aggressive grizzlies Lewis and Clark encountered or the ones you read about in trappers journals (although both may be somewhat exaggerated). Just my theory…

              • Jay says:

                while not conclusive, there is some plausibility that the wapiti sow was learning that humans were an easy target; makes you wonder whether that initial attack taught her just how weak and defenseless humans are. Also, even though there’s a paucity of data on grizzlies, I’m sure there’s a ton of documentation on big cats learning to prey on humans.

              • Yvette says:

                I think the answer is more likely in the field of ethnobiology or anthropology.

                Of course humans aren’t going to be used as test subjects, but there are other ways to arrive at an answer.

                Look at the stories, culture and ritual of Indigenous people that have lived in grizzly country for a millennium. After reading JB’s comment I asked myself how have these people managed to exist with grizzlies and other predators for thousands of years? How did they manage them and the human/predator conflict that surely would had always been present?

                While this paper does not address or specifically answer whether grizzlies will become conditioned to eating humans there is enough information in the paper to see how other cultures have managed the human/grizzly interactions.

                For anyone that is interested in the human/predator interactions and conflict this is paper is a good one for your files. With a newly forming side interest in Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) I remembered I had this paper in my files. I reread it after seeing JB’s comment. I found it informative on how these three First Nation tribes managed grizzlies before White contact, and they did manage them.

                Clark and Slocombe, 2009 ‘Respect for Grizzly Bears: An Aboriginal Approach for Co-Existence and Resilience.

                • Ida Lupine says:


                • Yvette says:

                  I asked a friend who is an adviser in the Native American Studies program and is an English prof and previously was a professor in Canada if she knew of any aboriginal stories
                  that had a component of bears that ate humans, got conditioned to eating humans, or sought humans out as easy prey.

                  Bears, and grizzly bears are in many Indigenous or Aboriginal stories, ceremony and culture but she knew of none that related to bears consuming humans. This seems to only appear in culture (any and all of our cultures) in the contemporary era.

                  I think if this were a significant concern with bears consuming or specifically hunting humans, we would see this in the aboriginal stories of those people who have lived with bears for thousands of years.

                  The liability issue in America is a different story but that does not stop some people from taking risks. Kayaking in high velocity rivers/streams; free climbing and any number of other activities are good examples. We don’t hold the river liable, and I don’t think too many people try to hold a park liable if they drown or are killed taking those types of risks. It seems only when it is another living being that the liability issue moves front and center.

              • Outdoorfunnut says:

                JB, If this particular bear were to have been freed and the next one (human) comes along and she gets a snoot full of bear spray….. do you think that would be another life lesson for the bear.

                We were having issues (over years) with Canis Lupus running after our bikes etc…. first it was lots of barking , then they would run out to the road, then the hair on the back of their neck was raised as they ran along on the other side of the ditch…. then the road side of the ditch…. Then the nipping…. Then the bears spray…. Problem solved.

                • Yvette says:

                  “Canis lupus running after our bikes” “barking”


                  OFN, I don’t believe much of anything you say. Canis lupus chasing bikes and barking. That’s pretty far out, man.

                • Outdoorfunnut says:

                  Yvette Canis Lupis…… familiaris — The common dog. He does bark and chase bikes….you need to get out more.

            • JB says:

              Folks also seem to forget that just a few years ago the Utah Supreme Court held the Forest Service partially liable in the death of a boy killed in a campground from a bear that had become a nuisance – http://www.ksl.com/?sid=26076057. It is a safe bet that everyone who managers bears (or campgrounds where they exist) knew about this decision within a few months of the outcome.

              • Nancy says:

                “Not everybody, Halfpenny understands, can know bears as well as he does—which is partly why he’s trying to teach people about grizzlies. He thinks we can all be more prepared in bear country—not by studying intricate details of bear behavior but by understanding ourselves. “Somebody who’s going to hike in grizzly country has to decide ahead of time how they’re going to act”

                A dated but good read:


                • Ida Lupine says:

                  This is very informative, I’m enjoying reading it. I’ve always wondered whether I’d have the presence of mind drop to a prone position and not run if I ever came upon a bear, stories about fatalities and injuries really stay in my mind. I wish people would be more careful! Especially since more people visit the park now than ever before.

                  If bears are considered recovered, a hunting season should not be allowed, IMO. The five-year waiting period should be observed, and, I hate to say it, only problem bears harmed if necessary, as in wolves and mountain lions.

                  It would be nice if we didn’t have to do these things, and it does come down to people using their brains first to avoid harm to themselves and having a magnificent animal be destroyed.

                • Ida Lupine says:

                  I was glad to read the info from Chris Servheen who says bears can adapt to climate change well.

              • WM says:

                There are a couple of fact distinctions which could affect the outcome of a duty of the state or the federal government to address known dangerous wildlife. The incident JB references in Utah involves the state of UT wildlife agency’s failure to do something with wildlife on US Forest Service lands, where it has wildlife management responsibilities. That suit was heard in state court and ultimately the UT state Supreme Court ruled the state had a duty to act.

                The mountain goat incident in Olympic National Park, where a hiker was killed by a known aggressive billy during the rut, involved NPS as the sole manager of wildlife in the Park. The incident was in 2011. That case for wrongful death was filed in federal district court, and the trial court judge ruled under federal law there was no cause of action under federal law because of sovereign immunity and the discretion given the NPS in its wildlife management decisions. The 9th Circuit, three judge panel in a 2/1 decision, just last month agreed. http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2015/07/27/12-36023.pdf

                The recent Yellowstone NP bear incident(s) are more closely related to the situation in Olympic NP and management responsibilities owed to visitors there.

                It is a developing area of the law. But, I think the NPS does try to make prudent management decisions, because national parks, contrary to what some folks think, are mostly managed for people, not wildlife.

                • Nancy says:

                  “It is a developing area of the law. But, I think the NPS does try to make prudent management decisions, because national parks, contrary to what some folks think, are mostly managed for people, not wildlife”

                  +1 WM. Because Timz/Elk’s comment below could actually become a reality someday given what space is left of wilderness and wildlife habitat. Because it is, after all:

                  Human Nature-
                  the general psychological characteristics, feelings, and behavioral traits of humankind, regarded as shared by all humans.

                  And the hell with other living beings….

                  timz says:

                  August 14, 2015 at 2:27 pm

                  sad story but I wonder if they will euthanize the tree.

  4. Moose says:

    I don’t think “what the research says” will matter here. The NPS will have to decide what level of legal risk is acceptable for them going forward in regards to what actions are taken.

    While similar in some respects to the Olympic Park goat goring case, the first Yellowstone “attack” resulted in a fatality.

    • Yvette says:

      I believe you are right, Moose. In wildlife/human conflict that leads to the loss of human life seems to be one of the rare times we Americans use the precautionary principle. “Let’s take no chances of this happening again with the same animal so let’s euthanize them”.

      It’s really not about ‘taste of blood’. That is an excuse we tell ourselves to justify our decision. A lie, more likely.

      Sigh. We humans pretty much go where we want when we want, and willingly take the risks to explore the world beyond the confines of concrete sidewalks, manicured yards and the locked doors of our homes. But when our lives are lost it’s the animal that pays the ultimate price. Even when an idiot deliberately chooses to ignore “no swimming, crocodiles” signage and gets killed by that crocodile who paid the price?

      I feel badly for this hiker and his family. Killing that mama bear won’t bring him back and the likelihood of a repeat incident is what? No one knows. So let’s kill her and leave the cub orphaned. The best we can do now is see what information they can gather from the scene. Bad situation all the way around.

  5. Ida Lupine says:

    I don’t know what’s worse – bears or, I would think, a heavily armed lunatic in a movie theater. He gets to live.

  6. Bob Mc says:

    My condolences to the hiker’s family and friends.
    While deadly encounters like this one are seemingly rare, they quickly bring out agendas on all sides. One area that interests me is any research that supports “taste of blood” (ToB) hypotheses. I would like to see the ToB studies from the Americas, as hominids did not evolve there, so man would not be a co-evolutionary prey item. I have searched for journal articles, but apparently lack the bear-attack lexicon to find the articles.

    While I hold an open mind to research on ToB, I suppose we should also hold the hypothesis that in fact we do not taste good to the average bear, cougar, or wolf, and that is why predatory attacks seem rare. I have certainly known many humans that did not return to eat Brussels sprouts, lamb, duck, salmon, and the like, so the one-taste hypothesis seems weak, with out supporting research evidence.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      It does seem weak, and a reflection of how elevated we see ourselves. We’re not that irresistible. The bear doesn’t see us as we see ourselves – whatever has told us we are the only creature on the planet that has rights and the right to live, or ‘more important’ than he or she is – to animals, we’re either a threat, or no different than an elk or a mule deer. This appears to be an accidental encounter. Obviously, it goes without saying that it is a tragedy for his family and friends. But it was an accident. We can’t predict what can happen out in wild areas, so ‘experienced hiker’ doesn’t really mean much if experience doesn’t mean taking precautions.

      Would OFN fight for the right for a Ted Bundy’s life over a grizzly’s? James Holmes does appear to be a lost soul, even though he caused great heartache and damage for many people. Our Marathon bomber Tsarnaev got the death penalty, but not Holmes. But there are truly human monsters in the world too.

  7. Ida Lupine says:

    One more thing I want to ask –

    It’s undeniable that going out with another person or a group makes for more noise. Loud talking and plodding feet announce your presence ahead of time to wildlife (and everybody else). Also, if you go out alone, what if you fall, sprain an ankle, no one there to help or witness, and an animal comes along after the fact? Things can be unpredictable. I don’t think that sacrificing an animal every couple of years is justified because we want to exercise unlimited freedom.

    Is it also a more dangerous time to be around wildlife, with grizzlies out eating and preparing for hibernation?

    So while this man arguably is an ‘experienced hunter’, that doesn’t imply he is also an expert in grizzly and wildlife behavior.

  8. Salle says:

    UPDATE: An adult bear has been caught, no cub, and is being DNA tested to see if it was the one feeding on the human.

    ALSO: He was NOT carrying bear spray, was hiking solo, and was off trail.

    The trail he was on is not very long and is considered a Day Hike or Front Country Trail.

    • skyrim says:

      It also affords one an incredible view of the lake from the top.
      When I pointed out some bear tree scratches to my wife at the bottom of the trail, she promptly hiked back to wait by the car (I had the keys in my day pack unknown to me)
      How ya been Salle?

      • Salle says:

        Hey Skyrim. Been slammed lately but surviving it all.

        You are correct, that trail does offer a spectacular view of the lake. Glad you are one of the observant hikers who notice the subtle (as in you have to make a concerted effort to look up to see them usually) signs of bear presence. Scratching on tree trunks is considered a territorial marker.

  9. Nancy says:

    “Grizzly bears are listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act”

    Moved for killing sheep:


  10. Gary Humbard says:

    A few statistics regarding grizzly bear attacks: 85% occurred when humans came within 55 yards of bears (close encounters) and 75% consisted of sows with cubs. 88% of the attacks involved one person and 8% involved two people. There is no documented evidence that indicates once a bear tastes human flesh, they become predatory toward humans. After she had encountered him and attacked, she did what bears do when they need to put on fat for the winter, she consumed and cached high value meat.

    Bear spray is effective in deterring an attack approximately 90% of the time.

    With the closing of the garbage dumps in the early 70’s, the current installation of bear proof food bins in surrounding national forest campgrounds, and hunter education on how to keep a clean camp bears are becoming less food conditioned, resulting in fewer bear and human conflicts.

    By hiking alone, he was probably not making much noise and the fact he was off trail he probably had a close encounter with a grizzly sow with cub that would have protected that cub with her life. Not having bear spray readily available may have been the final mistake.

    IMO, if he had gone hiking with one other person, talking and even singing, staying on trail, being observant and had bear spray readily available, I believe he would be alive today and the bears would not have a death sentence.

    It appears this was a defensive act and IMO the park is covering their butt by setting the trap and euthanizing the bears.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      +1 It’s heartbreaking for all.

    • Kathleen says:

      “IMO, if he had gone hiking with one other person, talking and even singing, staying on trail, being observant and had bear spray readily available, I believe he would be alive today and the bears would not have a death sentence.”

      That seems to be it in a nutshell. We never backpack in griz country without asking another couple along–a group of 4 has never been bothered, as I understand it. Even with a group of 4, we sang ourselves hoarse the morning we followed very fresh griz tracks down toward YNP’s south entrance.
      Here’s a reminder that in the previous fatality (also a mom defending cub(s), the bear was not hunted down and killed–perhaps because the attack was witnessed and she didn’t consume the man.

  11. jon says:

    Something wrong with this picture. You have hunters out there killing grizzlies specifically for sport/trophy and when you have a grizzly kill a human for self-defense purposes, it has to be killed. This bear did nothing wrong. It was acting like a wild grizzly.

  12. Ida Lupine says:

    It’s an individual’s personal choice to carry bear spray. It’s something we highly recommend because it has been shown to be an effective deterrent in the case of a bear charge,” park spokeswoman Amy Bartlett said.

    OK, so now it’s down to a ‘personal choice’ as to whether to use bear spray, and if your ‘personal choice’ results in the death of wildlife, who cares? No obligation to wildlife whatever, do whatever you want.

    I will never, ever set foot in that place again.


    • Ida Lupine says:

      I wasn’t able to attend the wolf conference because something came up at the last minute at home, and I would have stayed at the Lodge. Thank goodness I did not.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        Or the Old Faithful Inn, I guess it’s called. I have wonderful memories, but now it seems to have turned into an amusement park and glorified zoo. I could never tolerate people taking selfies with bison. C’est la vie!

    • Salle says:

      The park can’t tell people what to do, they can only strongly suggest, recommend and encourage people to do the right or reasonable thing. The only people they can tell what to do are the NPS employees and perhaps the contractors’ employees and that’s about it.

      People choose not to behave in a reasonable fashion all the time, it’s just that they are usually insulated from suffering the full consequences of their actions and it is usually someone else who does the suffering instead. In this case, it will be bears… but there will also be a ripple effect that may or may not be noticeable to the masses of people.

      • Leslie says:

        I understand that in order to backpack in Yosemite, people are required to use a bear canister. So why can’t YNP require bear spray canisters for hikers?

        • Salle says:

          A valid question. I know they bear canisters are for food storage as the black bears have learned to break into cars to get food. This is regarding bear spray, which is a bit different. Bear spray can cost about $50 which begs the question… since it is so widely used, why does it still cost so much? I do know that there are a couple hotels who rent it out and some may even offer it as a perk like free wifi and there is a test program in the park where it is available for rent at something like $10/day right now. I suppose if it is a popular thing they could expand it. I don’t know why, other than cost, why it isn’t required for all hiking in the park.

          I would like it if there would be a review of the summer use plan since there is such a massive spike in the number of visitors compared to last year based on stress to the animals and habitat. There is already a review of winter use going on at the moment, however, not necessarily based on habitat and wildlife stress. Seems like it’s time for redress of summer use, though, and not just because of this unfortunate event. It seems the park might be getting mauled by humans in a general sense at this point.

          • Nancy says:

            “It seems the park might be getting mauled by humans in a general sense at this point”

            Excellent point, Salle.

            Maybe its time to make it mandatory to carry bear spray while hiking in the Park? If found not carrying bear spray, one can be fined and perhaps take it a step further, to hike the Park, you must sign a waiver. A waiver designed to protect wildlife (and the Park) against ignorant human behavior.


            Stats on bear attacks over the past few decades. Quite a few partly eaten, cached victims:


            • Nancy says:

              “Next, the park launched a massive public education campaign. Campers are now required to sign forms saying they understand it is illegal to feed bears or store food — even toothpaste, deodorant or other scented toiletries — overnight in vehicles. Videos touting bear-safe camping tips play in visitor’s centers. Rangers patrol campsites every night, giving warnings and issuing citations of $125 for repeated flouting of the bear rules.

              “The rangers are aggressive with folks,” said Tollefson, now president of the Yosemite Conservancy”

              “You get hit in the side of the head with the education coming, going and the whole time you are there,” said Steve Johnson, a retired civil engineer from Walnut Creek”


              • Salle says:

                I think one of the problems with YNP and public safety is that Congressional underfunding resulting in staffing shortages creates a condition where the massive numbers of visitors simply overwhelm everything. It’s hard to educate the number of visitors when there are so many that there are miles long lines at each entrance on a daily basis.

                Many long-time visitors are now complaining that the park is now just a drive-through zoo. Most arrive with no clue as to what to expect, they see or hear the word “park” and anticipate some place where their safety is assured only to find that there are no fences or street lights along the roads.

                Ed major public education program would also require funding but Congress is more interested in the trashing of the natural world, especially places like YNP, and putting our tax $$ in the pockets of those funding their seats in government with golden parachutes when they retire from government… everyone/everything else is fodder.

                Ticketing isn’t an activity that is taking place in YNP for anything, including reckless driving or endangering oneself or others due to policy and lack of staff/funding.

                Understaffing is a big issue in YNP and until that is changed, the only thing that will change is the continued degradation of the park.

            • Ida Lupine says:

              I don’t doubt it, that this kind of behavior is not unusual for bears. I’m surprised Yosemite is so good 9I know it’s beautiful) – I’ve always been a little afraid to visit due to the massive crowds I read about, and I’ve never been to this premier NP also. I’ve always wanted to stay at the Ahwahnee, I love the old historic places. My husband is from CA, and we’ve never stopped at Yosemite, and especially with the John Muir, Ansel Adams, and others history, I should visit.

              Here’s something else very troubling about a NP:

              Beyond Unacceptable: Judge OK’s Uranium Mine at Grand Canyon

  13. greentangle says:

    According to various articles I just read online, park spokeswoman Julena Campbell is now admitting (regarding repeated eating of humans), “There’s not a lot of evidence to show that it is necessarily a learned behavior, but it can be.”
    And that apparently not everyone there is pleased with the decision, “There are certainly people that have a hard time with the decision to euthanize the bear and that includes some of our biologists and park rangers.”

    • Ida Lupine says:

      It’s time for me to graduate to Frank Church anyway! 🙂

      • Bob Mc says:

        Take Bear Spray, and a few Stinger missiles for protection from low flying aircraft that have people shooting from the windows. It’s dreadful to fear for your life without your own personal defense system.

    • Nancy says:

      Here is a link to contact folks at Yellowstone Park if you want info (or in my case) register a complaint regarding the ultimate price this bear will pay because of a lack of sound judgment (alone and no bear spray) by Mr. Crosby, while hiking around in bear country.


      As Salle pointed out in her post/comments:

      2. People who live/work in the park do become complacent about the protocols when they are familiar with a certain location or favorite spot. The “I know this place really well” or “I’m experienced and that can’t happen to me” or whatever rationale that one uses to convince themselves of their excetionalism is rather common among contracted employees.

      Not damning Mr. Crosby’s lack of sound judgment on that fateful day but does this bear have to pay the ultimate price because of it?

      Especially in lands that were set aside for wildlife so they could continue to exist, relatively unhampered by our species, in what’s left of wilderness.

      Fact is, the human species has no problem killing off our own species, at an alarming rate annually and who cares:


      • Ida Lupine says:

        I know, it’s a terrible thing about Mr. Crosby – but I think killing the bear is going too far. The human species destroys everything it touches – and if I want a wilderness experience I don’t want to be around them.

  14. skyrim says:

    ABC News is now reporting that a cub has been captured in addition to the female adult. It does not look good for either bear.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      I saw that. I think it was a foregone conclusion from the start. Did anyone really think ‘DNA’ testing would be done? Do they have the resources for that? I think that was just for the public’s benefit.

      The mother bear and her cub will come ‘back to the scene of the crime’, so to speak, and they’ll shoot them, deliver to the public its pound of flesh and that will be that. Sad.

      It’s too bad this man’s lack of foresight led to these events.

      • TC says:

        Yes, the testing will be performed, as it has in the past. Yes, in part it is for the public’s benefit, and yes, in part it is for the benefit of the NPS employees that will or will not have to kill these bears. No doubt some want no part of it, but better at least for them if it’s the right bears. There are no winners here, least of all the man killed or the bears that may be killed, but we don’t need to pile on and make more losers. The employees in question do not work in the NPS because they want to kill bears or anything else, and the boots on the ground do not get to make these calls (risk managers have a big say). We have not and likely will not ever reach the point where a bear that kills and eats a human is allowed to live in one of the most visited national parks in the world, like it or not, and gnashing teeth in chorus ain’t gonna fix that. Education of the public and better training of (especially seasonal) employees is the only tool in the toolbox at present, and even then accidents happen.

        • Salle says:

          …and it would be even better if those who need to be informed actually listened and understood what they are being told.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          I know, I feel terrible for those with boots on the ground. I know it must not be what they want or recommend. Wait until we get the announcement, how awful.

    • skyrim says:

      WGN Chicago is now reporting that a second cub has been photographed (presumably by a game camera) in the area of the 2 previous captures. Did I understand that Blaze had only 1 coy this year?

    • Yes, despite many unknowns about just what happened, the wild animals always lose.
      One human allegedly is killed by a grizzly. Not much is ever reported about how many millions of wild animals are slaughtered every year by Trophy Hunters—or because of human encroachment and stupidity in National Parks and other remaining wild areas. There will be no Peace or Justice for these wild animals as long as Homo sapiens, the Rogue Primate populates and spoils the Earth.

  15. Nancy says:

    Excellent discussion – especially the last 10 minutes:

    “Seventy thousand years ago, our human ancestors were insignificant animals, just minding their own business in a corner of Africa with all the other animals. But now, few would disagree that humans dominate planet Earth; we’ve spread to every continent, and our actions determine the fate of other animals (and possibly Earth itself). How did we get from there to here? Historian Yuval Noah Harari suggests a surprising reason for the rise of humanity”


  16. Rich says:

    ODF “Nut”,

    “thank you for not putting animals before people” ; …. “People….. they are all more important than one grizzly or two grizzlies or all grizzlies.” .

    First off you must have been out for a smoke when taxonomy was discussed otherwise you would know that humans are animals. Perhaps you should take a refresher course in biology.

    Second the fact that you are enamored with and feel that characters like James Holmes, Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Timothy McVeigh, Adam Lanza, Gary Ridgeway, and a very long list of similar human trash, are more important than all other animals helps to establish why you chose your handle on this blog. You are indeed a “NUT”.

  17. WM says:

    One more data point that will, no doubt, repeatedly be brought up in the discussions with the National Park Service about re-populating the North Cascades, and elsewhere. It has little to do with “complete ecosystems,” but a lot to do with managing people using national parks.

  18. Yvette says:

    If the hiker that lost his life were making the decision on the euthanasia of this bear he would probably say, “let her live. I startled her. I was too quite and forgot my bear spray. It was my mistake. She was only protecting what she thought was a threat to her cubs, so let her live. I knew the risks.”

    That is only a guess, but most people that love being outdoors and off the trail also have an equal amount of respect and awe of the wildlife that live there.

    The killing of this bear and whatever zoo her cubs end up in is nothing more than public relations for a whole lot of people that are clueless about nature and its risks.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Yes. Feeding Cheetos to animals. The Park’s catering to this mindset is very frustrating, but it’s all about tourist dollars I suppose.

      That said, I think you wrote about this poor man is correct. He probably didn’t think about it. It’s sad that because humans dominate the world, even the smallest misstep we make can have big repercussions.

      I wish that since the Park is closing in the next few weeks that she could be let go. I don’t think these ‘tests’ are necessary, and are just a way to reassure the public that ‘they got the right one’ and then all will be right with the world again. It’s a good bet that she and her cubs would have returned anyway.

      • Elk375 says:

        “the Park is closing in the next few weeks” The park does not close until November 1.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          Oh, I thought some places closed after Labor Day? Or tourism dramatically drops. That’s when I usually like to go. 🙂 I remembered it started to snow a little around then, it was gorgeous.

    • Immer Treue says:


      I agree with your subjective view.

      “If the hiker that lost his life were making the decision on the euthanasia of this bear he would probably say, “let her live. I startled her. I was too quite and forgot my bear spray. It was my mistake. She was only protecting what she thought was a threat to her cubs, so let her live. I knew the risks.”

      However, the park is viewing it objectively. They are looking at prevention. Remember the shlt storm in regard to the mountain goat.

      • Yvette says:

        I had to search for the mountain goat incident. I didn’t know about it since it happened before I followed wildlife issues as closely as I do now. What a mess that was.

        If we learn anything from this it should be that when we decide to enter the domain of wildlife that we remain vigilant in doing everything we can do to reduce the risk of harm to us. If we get harmed by wildlife the animal will also pay a price. Take companions, make noise and don’t forget your bear spray, or whatever is warranted for the region. It’s not just about us. It’s about them, too.

        Between the killing of Cecil and the public response, and the incidents of people getting injured by bison in YNP this year it was a thump on the head for me. It was surprising to me how many people knew so very little about the outdoors and wildlife. Like the ‘news’ talk show host, Chris Hayes not knowing that trophy hunting was a ‘thing’ people did. I’ve had an alternative school teacher tell me about some of his students had no idea where their food came originated. They didn’t have even the most basic knowledge that it got to grocery stores because it was grown and harvested, or slaughtered. But, some of these same students are ones that rarely have the opportunity get out of their neighborhoods let alone out of the city or state. Sad. We can’t fix everything.

  19. jon says:

    I thought bears that are with cubs are given a pass if they defend themselves by killing a human they see as a threat? When did that change? This is disgraceful. We let trophy hunters kill grizzlies for a trophy, but grizzlies cannot kill humans to defend their cubs. This is sick and wrong. This is a national park. The grizzly and its cub should be able to live freely without being harassed and threatened by humans.

  20. Gary Humbard says:

    +1 Jon,

    “At this point in time, I have no knowledge that it could have been avoided,” Wenk said. “He was in an area that’s frequently used, a popular area that people went to. It’s not like he was bushwhacking through dense forest.”

    How about hiking with at least one other individual, having bear spray readily available and using it if necessary, staying on designated trails, being observant and singing or making other noises intermittently so that the sow with cubs would not be confronted in a close encounter. As a mentioned in a earlier comment, 85% of attacks are because someone got within 55 yards of a bear with 75% of attacks consisting of a sow with cubs. I have little doubt this is what initiated the attack.

    They describe the victim as an “experienced hiker”. I’m an experience hiker, and there is no way I’m hiking alone in grizzly bear country and although I sometimes get teased, singing has made a difference several times by preventing close encounters. I’m always observant, stay on designated trails and I have bear spray readily available. To my knowledge this gentlemen did none of those things.

    From what I can ascertain this was a total defensive attack from the bear and instead of a “lose-lose” situation (hiker and bears killed), Yellowstone NP could have made it a “lose-win” case (hiker killed, bears live) by stressing the importance of those actions to prevent close encounters.

    Even though this bear was defending herself and her cubs, she will be killed due to a very preventable incident. Although this type of attack is extremely rare and could have been prevented, it will be used as hyperbole regarding grizzly bear recovery efforts in the US.

    • W. Hong says:

      I thought I read, the bear will be killed because the bear eat the man? Did I not understand correctly?

      • jon says:


        A mom and her cubs will be killed just for being wild bears defending themselves. One human’s life is not worth more than a mother bear and her cubs. Grizzlies are doing far worse off than humans in this country.

        • Cobra says:

          So are you willing to give your life for the sow and cub? It’s easy to say things like that unless your speaking of your own life or the life of a loved one. Other peoples lives don’t seem to matter to any of us quite as much as our own.
          The guy should of been carrying bear spray no doubt. Had this been anywhere other than a national park the bear and her cubs may have got a pass, but with the number of people in the park and some far from being critter savvy the park has no choice unfortunately. If they give the bear a pass and she attacks someone else they would be sued to no end. Unfortunately there is no way they can win this one.

        • Jay says:

          You weren’t there, so you can’t say this was a case of a startled bear rather than a predatory event.

          • Ida Lupine says:

            You weren’t there either; nobody was. So if there is doubt as to what happened, they should not kill the bears. Generally, bears are defensive with young, we do know that much.

            • Jay says:

              Do you hear me making conclusive statements as if I knew what happened? Maybe it was a case of a startled bear, but maybe it wasn’t. People need to quit adding in their own details that they don’t have any basis to say.

          • jon says:

            Usually when a bear has cubs and attacks a person, it’s because it’s defending its cubs. The bear and it’s 2 cubs should not be killed. It feels like we are trying to take the wild out of these wild animals and we believe they should not have the right to defend themselves and their cubs against us humans.

            • Ida Lupine says:

              We are. We’re turning it into a money-making amusement park, complete with trophy hunting, it would appear.

            • Jay says:

              Also usually, when a bear goes after a human to protect its cubs, it neutralizes the threat and gets the heck out of there. This bear killed, ate, and cached the guy for future meals, suggesting it could have been predatory. I don’t know the bear’s mindset, neither do you, so quit spouting off opinions as fact.

              • Ida Lupine says:

                That can be a natural outcome of a bad encounter with a bear or any wildlife. A bear is an omnivore; it is a predator. It isn’t news, especially when people don’t take proper precautions, or out and out ignore the rules. If this man was a nurse as I have read, I’m surprised he took his personal safety so lightly.

              • Gary Humbard says:

                According to Stephen Herrero who is probably the leading investigator of grizzly bear attacks in NA, predatory attacks are extremely rare and those which occur are usually food conditioned bears. There is no evidence these bears were food conditioned.

                We do not know why she attacked and killed him, but according to Herrero, sometimes bears (especially sows with cubs) decide the threat to their cubs is severe enough to not only reduce the threat, but to eliminate it. It could have been a number of reasons (i.e. his close distance, between her and them, their reaction, her health). The fact that she partially consumed him and cached him is not unusual for this time of the year as bears are needing to fatten up for hibernation and meat is a very valuable food source.

                The issue is when we humans enter any wild land, it’s OUR responsibility to respect the wildlife and be knowledgeable in how to enjoy the experience and be as safe as possible. IMO this gentleman failed to take necessary precautions and he paid the ultimate price. My hope is the Park Service can use this as a teaching lesson to visitors so future potential incidents are prevented.

                • Ida Lupines says:

                  My hope is the Park Service can use this as a teaching lesson to visitors so future potential incidents are prevented.

                  I wouldn’t count on it. It’s never worked yet.

                • Jay says:

                  “The fact that she partially consumed him and cached him is not unusual for this time of the year as bears are needing to fatten up for hibernation and meat is a very valuable food source.”
                  Not sure how you come to this conclusion considering grizzly attacks are rare, fatal grizzly attacks are even rarer, and attacks where the victim is eaten even rarer still. So yes, I would consider this an unusual attack. As you point out, bears are hyperphagic right now, so it’s not implausible this bear was food stressed due to drought conditions coupled with the additional demands of feeding cubs that drove it to prey upon this person. I’m not saying that’s what happened, but as I said before, nobody knows the intent of the bear, so the notion that the bear was in defense mode is guessing. Either scenario is a possibility. For the record, I don’t like the idea of the Bears being killed, but I understand the difficult position the YNP folks that have to make that call are in.

      • Nancy says:

        Oh, I’m thinking you did understand W. Hong. But you might want to put it into perspective, when it comes to who’s eating who and, at what rate and impact, to the planet:


        There is a huge difference between this bear, defending her young (and taking advantage of the available protein) vs say Jeffery Dahmer (who also ate the man)

        Was he was kept alive (for 15 life terms) so some in our species, could study his eating habits?

        Just wondering…………


  21. Bob Mc says:

    If the Park lets the bears live, they can post signs at entrances “Known Man-Eater / CARRY BEAR SPRAY!”
    That might put a bit more emphasis on the urgency of preparing for a hike in the wildlands.

    If the Park kills the bear(s) tourists will have an unreasonable feeling of safety because the “bad bear” is no longer in the park. And in a short while, we will again go through this drill. [Short means within a decade, say.]

    I say, “Make tourists responsibly safe; let the bear live.”

    This is lose/lose, no matter what. Mr. Crosby is dead, and the Park Service will receive criticism, no matter its action. Let’s not make it a hat-trick of losing by also killing one or more bears.

  22. greentangle says:

    I’m a big fan of Doug’s and in complete agreement that the bears should not be killed, and why the NPS is doing it, but I’m not sure the following post is 100% accurate in all regards. But for those interested:

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Oh boy. That’s even worse – a park favorite who has been tormented unmercifully by visitors. I wouldn’t be the least surprised if a another delisting scheme is being cooked up either. Riders have now worn thin. We’ve seen what they did to wolves, a backroom delisting. This was an accident and they should leave her alone. I’m all done with this place. Lord save us from beancounters.

      • jon says:

        Sorry for the guy killed. He had a family who loved him, but why should 3 innocent bears be killed for a human who did not have bear spray on him? Im sure this man who got killed was a bear lover. His family would probably not want the bears killed. This is a national park where wildlife should be left alone. In most cases as I understand it, when a bear harvests a human and that bear has cubs, wildlife officials leave them alone because they believe the bear attacked because it was defending its cubs. Why aren’t they using that same rationale for this particular case? Leaving the bear alone does not mean it’s gonna go out there and kill another human. ANY BEAR if it feels its cubs are in danger will attack a person. That is natural bear behavior.

    • Salle says:

      Thanks for posting that, greentangle… sheds some light on what the actual process is. I was wondering why the park spokesperson said what they did.

      Sadly, the info there only adds to the pain in this issue.

    • Nancy says:

      Its too bad this bear and her family can’t have a lawyer appointed to defend them because it certainly sounds like (through an almost CSI account) she was in the right here – home invasion, threat to her small children. I think the “devouring part of him” aspect here that cinched their fate.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        Still, it sounds shocking, and I’m sure it’s being played for all its worth, but it is a natural occurrence if someone has an encounter with a bear. Blaze did not know that we are sacred and untouchable, to her we another threat to her cubs. I know from experience that people are not discouraged from getting too close to wildlife, and of course the ridiculous selfie incidents speak for themselves. The problem lies with Yellowstone.

        Information hasn’t come out yet as to what happened, so I hope we just don’t quietly hear that she was destroyed.

        It’s not that I don’t feel badly, I do. I do not worship humans. I’m probably not supposed to speak out during a period of mourning, but I’m tired of human behavior, we act like undisciplined children, an embarrassment in other countries too. With Cecil, this was all over the news. Could it be that where he was part of an Oxford study in the UK, they care more about wildlife than America does? It’s very hush-hush about our own wildlife.

  23. Ida Lupine says:

    Yes, I don’t know why they are saying that this man is an experienced hiker. He did everything wrong – going out alone, no bear spray, into bear habitat, running away and fighting back at her. There’s no way to know what really happened, so park officials say because there were no witnesses, the bear has to be killed? It’s just the opposite for humans who always are given the benefit of the doubt by jurors. That’s three bears who will have to be killed in an already pressure population. I don’t think delisting is the right decision with their food supplie(s) limited, studies cast doubt.

    Also, is it true that once the grizzles are delisted, trophy hunting will be allowed inside Yellowstone Park, and Grand Teton as well, I thought one other was mentioned? That sounds like the fast track to extinction IMO. How is it going to ‘protect the 3.5 million visitors per year’ if guns are going to be allowed inside the park?

    In most cases where there are problems in management, procedures are reviewed and changes made to policies, such as maybe there aren’t enough rangers with budget cuts, and too wishy-washy in enforcing the park policies.

    Killing the bears and calling it a day isn’t the answer, and quite frankly people are disappointed in such an antiquated decision, especially in a National Park! The what sounds like corporate mouthpieces speaking to the press have been unconvincing. There have been other, even fatal, encounters where the bears were not killed. Creating an atmosphere of fear so that a delisting will sail through is unethical. Why isn’t the bear’s name and history being included?

    • Ida Lupine says:

      She has a history of non-aggression, despite over zealous visitors. She’s never been aggressive until now. She is an older bear, and the fashionable trend at the moment is to destroy old animals, I know, but in America this is very disappointing, and to keep information from the taxpayers who support this place is also upsetting.

    • TC says:

      Where are you getting this information that trophy (any) hunting will be allowed in YNP? I believe you’re off on a snipe hunt here – that will not happen. And firearms have been allowed in the park since February 22, 2010.

      • Yvette says:

        TC, I think you got it backward on the whether guns are allowed.

        It was Senator Coburn (R-OK) that attached a rider to a credit card bill in 2009. That rider reversed the gun ban in national parks. It was signed into law in February, 2010. Before that date guns were not allowed.


        I wasn’t sure if the law had been reversed, but it looks like it is still legal to carry guns in national parks.


        • TC says:

          Not sure how I have it backwards. Read my comment again – it agrees with what you posted…

        • greentangle says:

          Yes, although guns are allowed, actually shooting them is not, even at charging wildlife. Of course, that law didn’t save the life of the three year old girl who shot herself at Grant Campground a couple years ago, and hasn’t done anyone else a bit of good either. But wave the flag and demand your rights, gun fans.

      • Ida Lupine says:


        Well here’s one thing – I thought I read something else about Yellowstone. We do know that the American hunting method is bating animals out of parks, we’ve seen it with wolves, lions (‘I-Did-Nothing-Wrong Palmer), and I don’t think grizzlies will be any different if and when they are delisted. I think the Doug Peacock article said that hunting is planned immediately after delisting. How can this be?

        I don’t know why guns are allowed in the National Parks at all. I think that is a big mistake. I’d love to work on having that reversed.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          During the annual elk hunt in Grand Teton, hunters who (supposedly) have run-ins with grizzlies can kill them in self defense. Will this hurt the population?

        • Elk375 says:


          ++We do know that the American hunting method is baiting animals out of parks, we’ve seen it with wolves, lions”

          I have never heard of baiting either wolves or mountain lions out of Yellowstone Park. It is illegal to bait mountain lions and baiting mountain lions is not how there are hunted. Mountains lions are hunted with dogs or killed while out elk and deer hunting as a species of opportunity. I have never heard of anyone baiting mountain lions anywhere; I would doubt that a mountain lion would come to bait.

          Wolves are not hunted with bait and I have never heard of anyone trying to bait wolves out of Yellowstone Park.

          Hunters have shot wolves and lions on the boarder of the park but not with bait.

          Ida, you need to get some facts straight. Yellowstone Park does not close in several weeks and hunting has never been allowed in Yellowstone nor will it be allowed.

          • Ida Lupine says:

            I know the Park doesn’t but a lot of business close as early as Sept 7 because of a drop-off in tourism after Labor Day. At least that’s how I recall it. I’m sure the animals will all breathe a sigh of relief:


          • timz says:

            they don’t bait them they just get their radio collar frequencies and shoot them as soon as they leave the park, like the true sportsman hunters are.

            • Elk375 says:

              Do you have proof of that.

              • timz says:

                the fact nearly every park wolf that was killed outside the park was collared is proof enough. Of course this will be called coincidence by you so-called sportsman.

                • Nancy says:

                  “Must be tough being involved in a “sport” that requires constant excuse making for its lack of integrity”

                  Timz, Who was that comment directed at?

                  Hard to keep track when the comments pile up on each other.

              • skyrim says:

                This will likely not meet your burden of proof, but I’ll put it up anyway.

                • SAP says:

                  That’s from Oregon, and from 4 years ago.

                  I’d question whether it’s true that “nearly every park wolf that was killed outside the park was collared . . .”

                  “A high percentage of collared wolves were killed” is not the same as “most wolves killed were collared.”

                  One cannot rule out that some hunters actually acquired telemetry frequencies somehow. Could’ve happened. But we’ve discussed this on here before: even if a person has a telemetry receiver, you pretty much need to know the animal’s specific frequency in order to track it. You’re not likely to stumble upon the correct frequency by randomly keying the numbers in.

                  So, you’d need the receiver, and the specific frequency. Even then, that information may or may not help you get within 400 yards with a clear shot at an animal.

                  I’ll go with the simpler explanation: the shooters went where they knew there were wolves. They found wolves that weren’t very wary around people, and they killed those wolves. I think the same thing will happen around Grand Teton with grizzlies, unless we somehow agree that’s not ok. Look at Cecil the Lion, or Grizzly 399: here are individual animals that provide viewing opportunities to 10s of 1000s of people. They’re not wary, and of course they don’t know where that invisible boundary is between safety and getting shot. Why would we let these animals be gunned down by some doofus with a rifle? Why would we cause such grief and outrage to so many people? It doesn’t have to be this way.

                • timz says:

                  7 of 10 killed in one season were collared. A high percentage or most what’s the difference it happened and the “high percentage” is unlikely to be coincidence.

                • timz says:

                  Must be tough being involved in a “sport” that requires constant excuse making for its lack of integrity.

                • SAP says:

                  timz, I’m not involved with wolf hunting, nor will I make excuses for it. I’m just not convinced that hunters had/have telemetry frequencies, especially when there are other explanations for what happened. I don’t have to be a wolf hunter to have an opinion that differs from yours.

                  If your contention that 7/10 killed wore collars (is there a source for that? I can find a reference to 5/10 for the 2012-13 season) is accurate, it may be that spiteful hunters were choosing to shoot ones that had collars for some reason, other than they were locating them with telemetry. I could actually see that happening.

                • timz says:

                  SAP, sorry that comment was made as a general statement, not directed at you personally.

                • SAP says:

                  Thanks for the source, timz.

                  Whether the shooters got on them with telemetry or just luck, I think there was some spite involved — mean-spirited lashing out at wolf watchers, at the research project.

                • SAP says:

                  This doesn’t materially affect the main point (that the kill was biased toward radioed wolves), but here are two other articles re 2012-13 season:

                  This one states there were at least 7 YNP wolves killed, 5 that were collared:


                  This one (Feb 2013) states “of the total 10 Yellowstone wolves killed outside the park, five wore research collars.”


            • Connie says:

              Or play recordings of wolf pups in distress.

          • Marc Bedner says:

            Delisting grizzlies would not automatically authorize trophy hunting in Yellowstone, but there are bills in Congress that would expand trophy hunting to almost all federal lands, including national parks.
            I hope that the uproar over Cecil will help defeat these bills. Fortunately, Congress doesn’t seem in the mood to pass any bills on any subject.

    • Elk375 says:


      ++Also, is it true that once the grizzles are delisted, trophy hunting will be allowed inside Yellowstone Park, and Grand Teton as well++

      There is no hunting in Yellowstone National Park allowed and it has never been allowed, nor will it be allowed in the future. Grand Teton does not allow hunting either the exception is some elk hunting in the Jackson area which was part of the Grand Teton enabling act.


      ++I wasn’t sure if the law had been reversed, but it looks like it is still legal to carry guns in national parks.++

      It is legal to carry firearms in a national park as long as the state that the national park is in allows the carrying of firearms. What is allowed in Yellowstone is different than what is allowed in Yosemite due to California laws. It is illegal to discharge a firearm in any national park, there is the crux’s. You can carry a loaded firearm but you can not shoot it. I have not heard of any changes to the law.

      • Louise Kane says:

        well in some parks you can hunt…
        sadly in Cape Cod National Seashore
        hoping to change that for predators at least

  24. Ida Lupine says:

    Since somebody asked, I can say without any hesitation at all that if this happened to anyone I know, family, friends, or myself, I would still not want the bear to be killed. I’m not encumbered by children (hooray!), but I would feel the same way if it was one of them. I don’t require a sacrifice to the altar of humanity, when one of us passes away, especially if they contributed to their own demise.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      This could lead to complacency where visitors or seasonal employees may not follow the recommendations to carry bear spray, hike in groups and be vigilant for the creatures that live there.

      This is already true. They do not follow recommendations. Will it lead to more complacency, if that’s possible. What is the problem? Are they understaffed due to budget cuts?

      • Jake Jenson says:


      • Salle says:

        Understaffed due to budget cuts (thanks to a Congress who don’t want us to have any public funded anything) and lack of respect for the wildlife – flora and fauna – among a vast majority of visitors and many contract workers, and other issues that the public should be made aware of by way of investigation/public scrutiny.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          Well, again, perhaps this incident will shine a light on weaknesses in our government and agencies leadership. I’m not criticizing the Park rangers and biologists – I know they can’t help the kinds of orders they are given, what they have to work with.

          It doesn’t help that the so-called new conservationists don’t understand nature, want kids to be able to have more ‘freedom’ in the National Parks (and I guess if it goes wrong aren’t bothered if the animal has to be destroyed.)


          • skyrim says:

            I suppose there is room in this world for a new approach to conservatism, but speaking personally I find myself comfortable with what I have developed for myself. Anymore it is not what is or is not, it is how many “likes” does an idea or an individual have. Social media has changed so very many things and ideals. None (imho) for the better.
            BTW I wanted to note that I have followed your thoughts and expressions on this thread and have to say that I am very much in agreement with your mistrust and disgust on this subject. Just wanted you to know that.

            • Ida Lupine says:

              🙂 Thanks, I appreciate it. I know I go over the top, but animals deserve support from some of us. There’s damn few of us who care about them.

  25. frank renn says:

    Interesting how attitudes and policy differ in other parts of the world. While on a trip to Northern India I spent time at Corbett national park. Within the week I was there two individuals were killed by tigers within the park boundaries. As these individuals were traveling alone and between dusk and dawn in tiger country the tiger was not to blame for the incidents.

    • Yvette says:

      frank renn, excellent point. We hear a lot of talk about personal responsibility, and maybe we need to bring that into the conversation for national park visitors. How many people were injured by bison this year?

      • Salle says:


      • TC says:

        Every person injured by a bison was breaking park rules (willfully approaching wildlife other than bears/wolves within 25 yards – bears and wolves are 100 yards). I wish they’d cite and/or ban these people, but it does not happen. The gentleman killed was not breaking park rules – it is allowable to hike alone, hike off-trail, and hike without bear spray, if clearly not advisable. The bison also did not kill or eat the victims – they sent a non-fatal and probably painful message. It’s not the same, either in the eyes of the general public or NPS officials. As long as NPS mission includes inspiring, educating, and engaging people in the cultural and natural wonders around them then visitation of YNP and other NP will be encouraged (as I believe it should, with some restrictions considered). And in this fine land of ours that means you have to afford those people (yes, including many idiots) some level of protection, often in spite of themselves. A killed bear with cubs is sad. 1,000 or 5,000 kids a day potentially turned on to the wonders of YNP is very very good. Tough balancing act.

  26. skyrim says:

    A photographer on Ynet is reporting that the Wild Animal Sanctuary in Keenseburg, Colorado has agreed to accept the cubs. I guess getting the NPS to establish a connection to do so was a problem when this info was posted at around 10:00 AM this morning. Anyone here up to pulling some strings in assistance?

  27. Kathleen says:

    A very similar scenario is playing out on the opposite side of the world in Australia, where a cull of great white sharks is being called for…

    Excerpt: “If people choose to recreate in the ocean knowing full well the risks associated with it, it is morally wrong for us to then kill these wild animals when they mistake people for their natural food”…


  28. Yvette says:

    Crow Native, 101 year old Dr. Joseph Medicine Crow, and others offer opinion on both the grizzly delisting proposal and the tragedy in YNP.

    ““It’s not grizzly bears that are problematic, it’s man. The way he reacts and the way he treats grizzly bears and other animals. So I repeat, we have to control man himself and keep grizzly bears alive,” declares this “warrior and living legend” in his 102nd winter.”

    “Both GOAL principals stressed how “all life is sacred” and hoped that people would not seek to blame Mr. Crosby or the bear for “reacting as a sow grizzly with cubs typically does” if threatened.

    “It may be too much to ask, but we would appeal to those bent on delisting and trophy hunting grizzlies not to exploit this tragedy and politicize it for their own agenda,” expressed Bearshield.

    In 2012, Wyoming Governor Matt Mead highlighted “four human deaths” in Greater Yellowstone to press then Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar to expedite delisting. In his letter, the governor described grizzlies as “a threat to people” and the bears’ ESA status as “a public safety concern.””


    • Ida Lupines says:

      As for the decision to euthanize it, Bartlett said it created a challenging management situation where the park has to balance keeping wildlife alive and protecting people.

      Well she’s failing miserably. How long before this happens again? This place is becoming much too commercialized.

      • Ida Lupines says:

        How long before this happens again?

        By this I mean before another fool walks up to a bison or a grizzly or an elk, and they have to be destroyed again because the Park refuses to correct visitors for fear of losing their money? I am not willing to sacrifice America’s wildlife for fools. It’s actually the ridiculous selfies that bothered me more than Mr. Crosby’s accident. This corporate mouthpiece does not belong representing what was Yellowstone, she belongs with some other corporation.

        • Ida Lupines says:

          Mr. Crosby had an unfortunate accident, but there are all kinds of outrageous incidences of people behaving badly. This woman is spouting nothing but scripted damage-control speak. I pray that the bears will be spared.

  29. Louise Kane says:


    petition to stop killing of Blaze the grizzly accused of killing the hiker who was without bear spray or bells, and off the trail.

    • Connie says:

      77,000 plus signatures the last I looked, but I do not believe that will save Blaze. But the last I read on social media, several organizations, in the US and Canada, have offered to take the cubs.

      • Ida Lupines says:

        It’s nice to see so many people from all over the world commenting. I hope they will remember this and spend their money elsewhere. It’s sad that the nation’s premier national park has made a decision like this.

        This PR spokesperson is even denying any knowledge of a bear named Blaze statement. You wouldn’t get this kind of information clampdown and propaganda in a fascist regime! Perhaps it is an unofficial name for her.

        I am thoroughly disgusted. The primary reason for this incident is carelessness on the part of the man, who surprised a mother bear with cubs. I don’t know where ‘experienced hiker’ came from, unless it was to soften the blow for the public of destroying Blaze.

        • Cary says:

          “The primary reason for this incident is carelessness on the part of the man, who surprised a mother bear with cubs.”

          You don’t know that. your speculation of facts doesn’t help, either.

      • skyrim says:

        Approaching 110,000 this morning, from all over the planet.

  30. Ida Lupine says:

    Here’s an article about Blaze by Marc Bekoff:


    “Sound science” has been reduced to a meaningless phrase by the media and politics, and having a PR hack using it to justify killing Blaze is ridiculous.

    I always thought tourism dropped off after Labor Day, and if they are extending the season into bear hibernation preparation by keeping more business open, that presents an additional danger that is decidedly not based on ‘sound science’ but sound profits. Are tourists being warned about bears feeding at this time of year and that it is a more dangerous time than usual to be wandering around alone with no protection?

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Damn. Well, I will never visit again.

      • Ida Lupine says:


      • Professor Sweat says:

        This situation, along with the bison cull and the massive crowds have me echoing your sentiment.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          Yes, another thing that bothers me is that guns are allowed. That’s the one thing that wasn’t mentioned in the safety statistics. You can carry but not shoot? I wish these people wouldn’t insult our intelligence so badly.

          • Professor Sweat says:

            To some the boogeyman still exists and they feel it is their god-given right to protect themselves from it. Logic didn’t leave, it was never there to begin with.

            • Ida Lupine says:

              Maybe that can be reversed once this Administration gets the boot in 2016! A new regime might be different for the environment and wildlife instead of this clueless crew we have now.

              • Ida Lupine says:

                Thank goodness we only have one more year to suffer through with Jewell, Ashe and Obama. I hope they don’t do any more damage in the meantime.

  31. Kathleen says:

    Perhaps this comment has already been made (I haven’t read them all…) but perhaps Yellowstone, and maybe ALL National Parks except for urban units, should just be closed to protect people from themselves. Many more people have died in Yellowstone from falls, drowning, lightning strikes, trees falling on them, encounters with thermal pools (20 people in the park’s history), etc., than have died from bear attacks.

    See “How do people get hurt at Yellowstone? It’s not what you think”: http://trib.com/lifestyles/recreation/how-do-people-get-hurt-at-yellowstone-it-s-not/article_e784607d-96c5-5cb7-ae0c-b203b498227c.html

    And this, from the park:
    “During the 140-year (1872-2011) history of Yellowstone National Park, seven people have been killed by bears in the park. More people in the park have died from drowning, burns (after falling into thermal pools), and suicide than have been killed by bears. To put it in perspective, the probability of being killed by a bear in the park (7 incidents) is only slightly higher than the probability of being struck and killed by lightning (5 incidents).”

  32. skyrim says:

    Blaze was euthanized early today…..

    Thanks to Connie over at ynet.

  33. greentangle says:

    Disappointing but not surprising. Perhaps all the public pressure saved the lives of the cubs, for better or worse.

    If a bear goes into a developed campground at night and attacks people, that is a predator who needs to be killed for safety reasons. But a bear who attacks a hiker should not be killed, regardless of circumstances or results.

    Hiking is a human choice for which the human needs to take responsibility and accept the consequences, and based on my experience most solo hikers do. Not all–until a couple days ago I was friends with a YNP Xanterra employee who hikes alone and wanted this bear killed. The problem is that Yellowstone won’t allow a hiker to accept the consequences. I don’t think there is anything wrong with choosing to hike alone in bear country–there’s something wrong with a ruling body which allows you to do it, but then punishes wildlife because of it.

    Unfortunately, YNP very rarely imposes any kind of punishment on the thousands of humans who ignore explicit rules, not recommendations, about harassing wildlife even when it happens right outside park headquarters. Instead of always kissing the asses of people with no respect for nature, it should start enforcing its own actual rules. Or else publicly admit that there are no consequences for humans in Yellowstone, only for other species.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      +1 Well, one thing you can be sure of, it will happen again. Maybe one of the bison will knock them into next week – again.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        Can’t be bothered. Sorry.

        • Nancy says:

          If you really care about wildlife Ida, GET bothered. That link is a time line about how the Park has dealt with in the past and is dealing with an aspect of “our” wildlife, now.

          There are pictures in this link, back when feeding stations/ dump sites were the norm when it came to the bears in the park. That has thankfully changed. Take some time and research the Craigheads.

          What has to be upgraded now, for the sake of the wildlife in the Park, is educating the literally millions of humans who come there and the officials and employees who work there, about the wildlife who are merely trying to co-exist in what’s left of wilderness areas.

          • Jay says:

            She’d rather stick her head in the sand and bash the park…unfortunate because that article gave an actual example of a female with cubs that wasn’t protecting her cubs, but was procuring a meal (something I’d suggested could have been a possibility but was dismissed by Ida and others). Very informative and fascinating read, thanks for posting.

            • Ida Lupine says:

              That’s my ‘personal choice’, like whether or not to carry bear spray.

              • Jay says:

                Good for you. Willful ignorance is most certainly a personal choice.

              • Jay says:

                Fine by me–maybe that will cut down your proportion of posts to less than 30% of all posts so there’s less vapid comments to wade through.

                • Ida Lupine says:

                  You harass me again, and I will ask Ralph to delete your posts.

                • Jay says:

                  Ida, do not respond to me, I do not have anything to say to you. If you threaten me again, I will ask Ralph to delete your posts. You have a short memory of who responded to who.

                • Jay says:

                  Hint: go up to see who butted into my original comment to another person not named Ida. That’s I’ll I’ve got to say to you.

                • Ida Lupine says:

                  Ask away!

                • Ida Lupine says:

                  I think anyone can see who hurled the first insult. I was addressing my comment to Nancy, not you. If Ralph wants to delete all of this sorry exchange of posts, I wish he would.

      • Connie says:

        Thanks for the post, Nancy. It will be a good read for another day (I saved it), but is a little too graphic about the euthanasia coming so soon on the heels of this tragedy.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          Thank you, I had started this over at another blog, and I really didn’t care for the writing style either – perhaps it sounded more like an ‘adventure story’, and you’re right, it may take a day or two to be able to read it fairly. Thanks again.

      • Nancy says:

        FYI – The Slate article link above was posted on the WLN a few years ago (garnished a handful of comments) interesting how attitudes have changed:


    • jon says:

      Let people sue I say. The grizzly bear did NOTHING wrong. We invade their home and we go crazy if they defend themselves against us humans. This momma grizzly should have not bee killed and YNP officials are cowards for being scared of frivolous lawsuits.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        I really do believe it is a business decision, the place is being run like a business now because federal funds have been cut, and much is being run by outside contractors. It’s the mindset of the Interior Dept. now. All about human recreation and bringing money into the park. The Xterra contract employee says it all to me, wanting the bear killed. Who the hell is he, compared to taxpayers?

  34. Yvette says:

    We all knew what the outcome would be. There could be 2 million signatures on the petition and they would still have killed her. We’re pretty backward in some ways.

    It’s time for us humans to take personal responsibility for the risks we take. Do not become negligent; do not make a mistake. When you make a mistake the animal pays with his / her life. We don’t have enough free to roam wildlife left to sacrifice their genetic contribution for human error in judgement.

    • Ralph Maughan says:

      When someone gets killed by an animal or a natural event in Yellowstone, a lawsuit against the Park is often filed.

      The historic outcome of these suits, from what seem like very backwards judges, has been to hold the Park responsible with resulting very bad effects for the Park’s natural features.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        It’s the American way.

      • Salle says:

        And once again those lacking respect end up chipping away at that which we, as a species, chose to protect so long ago. It would appear that the going trend in the US of A is to continue to destroy that which we don’t understanding nor have the will to attempt to understand if it doesn’t fit the popular myth cycle. Yellowstone NP is a place where the fashionable idea just doesn’t work well in a capitalist realm and probably never will.

  35. jon says:

    We let murderers out of jails sometimes and we let trophy hunters slaughtered our bears for a trophy, but a bear is not allowed to defend itself in their home? This world is messed up. How is a bear harvesting a human for self-defense purposes worse than a trophy hunter shooting an innocent bear to have it stuffed?

  36. jon says:

    There should be a lawsuit against YNP for making this absurd decision.

  37. Ida Lupine says:

    Here’s the latest on the two cubs, poor things. Better than nothing, I suppose. I wonder what kind of quality this zoo is. I don’t know why they can’t go to a sanctuary. From a life in a wilderness with their mother, to a life of empty Cheeto’s bags and plastic waterbottles.


    • Kathleen says:

      I’ve probably posted this before, but for anyone who’s new to TWN, here’s what has happened to two other Montana grizzly cubs sent to a tiny midwestern zoo after THEIR mother was “euthanized” (killed) for learning that unsecured human garbage is tasty: https://www.facebook.com/129598773783875/videos/vb.129598773783875/564881203588961/?type=2&theater

      It’s called “zoochosis”–the psychosis that results from incarceration in zoos, prisons where natural behaviors can’t be expressed. This is a tiny, 15-acre zoo in Michigan City, IN. The two grizzlies share an “exhibit” about the size of a basketball court. I’m sure the Toledo zoo is larger…but never, ever can it be large enough for far-ranging wild animals like grizzly bears.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        The circular pacing….I’ve seen that before. One commenter actually said that these bears will have full lives. I guess they don’t know what a full life is.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          I don’t see how these little bears are going to or have learned ‘bad’ behavior yet? I wish there was a way we could insist that these poor bears go to a larger sanctuary instead. Two bears in that one tiny enclosure ought to be considered cruelty to animals. I guess humans have to punish them.

        • Kathleen says:

          Right–full lives in terms of longevity, perhaps–as if that’s all there is to life, putting in your time. These are the same people who tell us (as we’re standing outside the circus with signs & flyers) that the circus animals “have it made–they live better than I do!” Of course, if it were possible to give them the opportunity, no human animal would trade places with nonhuman circus or zoo animals.

          • Ida Lupine says:

            The Park has put up an obituary for Blaze, which is nice.

            I don’t mean to sound unsympathetic to Mr. Crosby, but I find that humans and their endless problems consume your reserves, leaving nothing or other animals that inhabit the planet. And nothing ever improves much for people.

            Just in the past few days, we’ve caused a violent incident in the Park, we’ve polluted a river, it just never ends.

            I hope that idiot in the bear suit is frogmarched into the back of a police car and put in jail before he causes harm to himself and others with his irresponsible behavior.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      It wasn’t immediately known what the man was trying to accomplish.


  38. Connie says:

    Is this a joke? I am hearing that it was not Blaze. Does anyone know for certain the identity of this bear?

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Keep us posted! It’s still sad tho.

      • Connie says:

        I think I’m going to call it quits with the internet. The rumor mill is driving me nuts. Photographer Deby Dixon posted that it was not Blaze. Then an individual (Barbara) telephoned NPS this morning and was told that it was. Whether it was Blaze or not, the situation remains the same. A hiker and a bear are gone.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          And the corporate spokesrobot said they were not aware of any bear named Blaze at all! The hiker caused all of this mess, and quite possibly it is the fault of a lax and understaffed park service.

        • skyrim says:

          So far today I have not seen a news release from NPS. I have to think that they will address the rumors along with the decision to send the cubs to the damn zoo. They may be claiming to not know of a bear named Blaze, but a bear 20 years into life surely has a number. I know I have seen a number but do not recall what it is.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      I know – I’m just waiting for that. My guess is that he doesn’t want the bear and her cubs to eat ‘his’ salmon, so he’s trying to scare them off. If she rips his head off, I’ll be they get out the ol’ captive bolt gun for this bear family too.

      Kissing the butt of the dead man’s family won’t guarantee they won’t sue, either.

  39. Zeewolf says:

    I am truly sorry that this grizzly bear was destroyed and am even sorrier to see that her cubs are now in captivity. I believe, however…

    “A venturesome minority will always be eager to set off on their own, and no obstacles should be placed in their path; let them take risks, for godsake, let them get lost, sunburnt, stranded, drowned, eaten by bears, buried alive under avalanches – that is the right and privilege of any free American.” – Ed Abbey

    I also acknowledge Stephen Crane in this instance…

    A Man said to the universe:
    “Sir, I exist.”
    “However,” replied the universe,
    “The fact has not created in me
    “A sense of obligation.”

    Kudos to High Country News for introducing me to the later quote and reminding me of the former.

    • skyrim says:

      Scratched into the wall of the men’s room, Jenny Lake Campground circa 1986:
      Earth first.
      Grizzly second.
      Man third.
      J. Paul Getty last……

  40. Connie says:

    Looks like there are several petitions floating around regarding the cubs being placed in a zoo.


  41. Professor Sweat says:

    As sad as it is that the mother had to be executed, realistically the park service is no stranger to dispatching bears that cause problems for park visitors. What has irked me the most is that the cubs have been captured and barred from ever having a wild existence, through no fault of their own. Some zoo will make money off of them and they will never again know what it means to truly be a bear.

    It has been documented in the past that grizzly mothers will adopt orphaned cubs and raise them as their own. Was this option discussed and completely ruled out? Perhaps the proximity of winter would make it challenging for another mother bear to take on two more cubs. Anyone have insight as to why this option wasn’t explored?

  42. Nancy says:

    I’m afraid its only going to get worse for grizzles. I guess the idea of just staying inside till he moved on would of been out of the ream of possibilities?


    • Nancy says:

      as in realm 🙂

      • Nancy says:

        Oh and her town, Moyie Springs, is right on the edge of the Kootenai National Forest.

        • Professor Sweat says:

          Another blow to a struggling population. Shouldn’t a handy can of bear mace be a necessity when living in grizzly country?


          • Salle says:

            Being a resident in bear country where bears could be right outside my door at any given time (which has been the case from time to time including bear nose prints on my door), I keep bear spray by the door and I make a habit of looking out the windows to see if there’s anything I should be concerned about before opening the door. I wish there were others who would do the same.

            Reminds me of a collective mindset I encountered in a certain state which was a lot of desert prior to irrigation on a massive scale – who expected god or someone to change the climate and geographic nature of the place simply because they chose to live there with the expectation of endless water supplies and an oasis-type paradise.

            The bliss of ignorance and lack of respect I guess.

          • W. Hong says:

            I have heard of bear spray and have bought a can, but never heard of bear mace, what is that, and is it better than bear spray?

            • Salle says:

              I think it depends on where you come from. I’ve heard it called mace by folks from outside the US.

            • Jeff N. says:

              W. Hong,

              Is bear spray widely used in your native China by outdoor enthusiasts?

              What is the attitude towards brown bears in China?

              • W. Hong says:

                Mr Jeff, I have never heard of bear spray until I came to America. When I was in China, I was never exposed to brown bears, we did have Panda Bears where I lived.

              • Peter Kiermeir says:

                Bear spray is fairly unknown outside the US. It is not usually available in the european countries with bear life. The only source I´m aware of, where it is now actively sold, is in the Slovakian High Tatra area.

    • jon says:

      that woman is disgusting and should be charged with murder of an endangered species.

      • WM says:


        Do you, at this point, have more knowledge than those who actually are conducting the investigation? Where is it that you comment from, Maine or somewhere in the East. Ever been charged by a grizzly bear?

        • timz says:

          What kind of idiot stands in their back yard while a grizzly charges. Go in the house and call the authorities. Story is fishy and smells like a panic kill. By the way WM when was the last time you ran across a grizzly?

          • WM says:


            About 20 years ago in Yukon Territory, Canada. Not an experience I wish to repeat.

            Maybe these folks were indeed stupid and could have retreated, but it might be nice to know more facts before drawing conclusions, as some here make frequently based on their – often uninformed speculation.

            • WM says:

              Sorry, I have seen a number of grizzlies since at greater distance – but that was the one time I was chased. No bear spray and no shot gun at the time. Either would have been deployed had they been available.

              • Rich says:

                The question here is what was it that attracted the bear to the woman’s back yard? If you live in bear country, which I do, you have a responsibility to avoid behaviors that attract bears to your backyard. With over 20 years of self guided fly fishing in Alaska’s backcountry, I’ve encountered many brown bears and on Kodiak Island, shared a stream with the amazingly huge Kodiak bears including sows with cubs. If I had shot every bear that looked at me at close range or followed me for awhile there would be a lot of needlessly dead or wounded bears. Maybe I’ve just been lucky all those years. However learning to stay alert, respect the animals that call the territory home and carry bear spray has always worked for me. I have had to use bear spray a couple of times as well as a very loud horn when the bears got too friendly. If that didn’t work I just left the area but never considered shooting the bear! Instead of wounding a bear, the woman could have just returned to the house until the bear moved on, which it would have if there was no food or other attractants there. With all due respect this woman should be encouraged to live in the city. If she shoots at and wounds or kills animals, including humans, that intrude into her back yard in the city, she may find herself behind bars as a threat to society,

                • skyrim says:

                  Excellent perspective Rich. Thank you for that.

                • Jake Jenson says:

                  So don’t barbecue fish or elk in my yard. Don’t have a chicken/turkey/rabbit coop. X the fish pond. By by fruit trees. Garden. Berry bushes. No propane leaks. You do know that a tiny propane leak is the best attractant? Sewer gas fumes. The list of attractants is enormous. How do I know? Because attracting bears used to be my business.

                • Barb Rupers says:

                  Ethyl mercaptan, an offensively smelly gas for most people, is added to natural gas so that humans can detect a leak of odorless natural gas. Ethyl mercaptan smells similar to decaying animals and thus is sought after by turkey vultures which have a keen sense of smell. Some gas companies use vultures as a means of detecting leaks in their lines for natural and other gases. Black vultures, without this ability, can be attracted to congregations of turkey vultures.

                  JJ in what business were you engaged when attracting bears?

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Did the bear have a white blaze on her coat or not? This was my biggest fear; that they would just grab the first one to come back to the area, going by the fact that the one who was most likely to return to the cache would be the right one, just to give the public a sacrificial bear in eye-for-an-eye fashion. Especially since media reports claim that their population is up (so I guess that means any bear will do and one won’t be missed).

      The public is a lot more environmentally aware today. It stinks! People do not demand this kind of thing anymore, especially at the country’s premier national park where decisions are supposedly made using the best science. This is backward.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        I read the most beautiful essay at HCN this morning, and the author really captures why people love visiting the West, at least for me:

        And I am comfortable with being so small, so beautifully insignificant in this vast place.


      • Connie says:

        It is my understanding that several of Blaze’s offspring also have white blazes.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          Well then a little of her will live on. What a sad situation, and one that could have been avoided.

      • Barb Rupers says:

        Ida, the park officials are concerned about the saftey of park visitors. It seems unlikely to me they would pick a “sacrificial” bear as that would not be accomplishing their goal. I read that they did testing to determine whether it was the bear that killed Mr. Crosby.

  43. Ida Lupine says:

    I really am just sick about this. At the very least, redeeming thing they could do is put the cubs in ‘rehab’ for release into the wild later?

    • jon says:

      No national park should be held accountable if a wild animal that resides in that national park kills a human for self defense purposes or other purposes. As humans, we should acknowledge that we face certain risks if we decide to go venturing into a national park where wild and unpredictable animals reside. This bear should have not bee killed whether it killed a human for self-defense or not. There is zero evidence that a bear that kills and eats a human will do it again. Any bear if given the opportunity might harvest and consume a human. If a person goes inside a national park and a wild animal kills them, their family should not be allowed to file lawsuits. If you don’t like the risks of being around wild and unpredictable animals, DON’T GO into national parks. It’s that simple.

    • jon says:

      If YNP officials had guts and courage, they would not have murdered this bear for being a wild bear. When are we gonna start taking responsibility for our own stupid actions? It’s always, let’s kill the bear instead of applying common sense and saying people must know there are risks with wild and unpredictable animals and we should not blame wild animals for being wild animals. How can you file a lawsuit if an wild animal attacks you in a national park? Makes no sense. Seems like some people want the wild taken out of the wild animals. If you get attacked by a wild animal in a national park, you are at fault, not the animal nor the park officials.

      • WM says:

        I am going to repost something I just wrote further up in this thread, with a couple small [edits]:

        WM says:

        August 15, 2015 at 12:19 pm

        There are a couple of fact [and legal] distinctions which could affect the outcome of a duty of the state or the federal government to address known dangerous wildlife. The incident JB references in Utah involves the state of UT wildlife agency’s failure to do something with wildlife on US Forest Service lands, where it has wildlife management responsibilities. That suit [involving a black bear killing a camper]was heard in state court and ultimately the UT state Supreme Court ruled the state had a duty to act.

        The mountain goat incident in Olympic National Park, where a hiker was killed by a known aggressive billy during the rut, involved NPS as the sole manager of wildlife in the Park. The incident was in 2011. That case for wrongful death was filed in federal district court, and the trial court judge ruled under federal law there was no cause of action under federal law because of sovereign immunity and the discretion given the NPS in its wildlife management decisions. The 9th Circuit, three judge panel in a 2/1 decision, just last month agreed. http://cdn.ca9.uscourts.gov/datastore/opinions/2015/07/27/12-36023.pdf

        The recent Yellowstone NP [grizlly] bear incident(s) are more closely related to the situation in Olympic NP and management responsibilities owed to visitors there.

        It is a developing area of the law. But, I think the NPS does try to make prudent management decisions [even when they may not have a legal duty to act to remove or kill offending wildlife], because national parks, contrary to what some folks think, are mostly managed for people, not wildlife.


        If I recall correctly YNP has removed wolves thought to be a threat at Mammoth. It has relocated and/or killed grizzlies and black bears that have been repeat offenders. I don’t know if they did anything to the bison that have gored or thrown some idiot tourists that got too close, but prey species are a bit dumber and it isn’t likely to be easily learned behavior to go after tourists. However, various national parks have removed large antlered elk (especially during rut) that have attacked vehicles and/or humans, some even on horseback.

        Again, national parks are not managed for wildlife; they are managed for humans who have certain (perhaps even reasonable) expectations of safety. Heck, that is why there are hand rails to places like Angel’s Landing in Zion, and off-limit areas to winter camp above Paradise on Mount Rainier during avalanche season. Seems kind of inconsistent to manage natural hazard risk, and not wildlife risk IMHO.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          Hayden, while not the only person to have thought of creating a park in the region, was its first and most enthusiastic advocate. He believed in “setting aside the area as a pleasure ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people” and warned that there were those who would come and “make merchandise of these beautiful specimens”. Worrying the area could face the same fate as Niagara Falls, he concluded the site should “be as free as the air or Water.” In his report to the Committee on Public Lands, he concluded that if the bill failed to become law, “the vandals who are now waiting to enter into this wonder-land, will in a single season despoil, beyond recovery, these remarkable curiosities, which have requited all the cunning skill of nature thousands of years to prepare”.

          Hayden and his 1871 party recognized Yellowstone as a priceless treasure that would become rarer with time. He wished for others to see and experience it as well. Eventually the railroads and, some time after that, the automobile would make that possible.

          The Park was not set aside strictly for ecological purposes; however, the designation “pleasure ground” was not an invitation to create an amusement park. Hayden imagined something akin to the scenic resorts and baths in England, Germany, and Switzerland.

          Source: Wikipedia

          In some of the commentary about this tragedy, I am reading ‘setting aside…for the enjoyment of the people’ interpreted to mean that we can do whatever we want without restraint. There’s no little asterisk after it saying ‘please lock up your valuables and any personal responsibility for your behavior too.’

        • Ida Lupine says:

          I would say that are not managed exclusively for wildlife. A ‘reasonable expectation of safety’ would be different for different environments. For example, do not go out jogging in grizzly country alone without taking certain precautions. An animal should not be killed because someone wants to go jogging. Bring enough water in deserts. I tend to be a planner and an envisioner of ‘worst case scenarios’. I do not do these things on a lark.

          I really do believe that a good compromise would be to close certain trails where grizzlies have been seen, and I thought they did that. It should be go at your own risk.

          • Ida Lupine says:

            We’ve all heard of nations that restrict freedoms; I believe our nation is one that does not restrict freedoms enough. Managing a natural hazard risk such as a handrail over a steep area is not the same as killing living beings because no matter how stupid or trivial, human activities prevail. In a national park, you obviously can’t behave as you would back home. If wildlife is removed, then it is no longer what people come to see. Go to Disneyland.

            • Ida Lupine says:

              If there is precedent that the courts (and rightly and logically so) have ruled that the Parks have discretion and sovereign immunity in their wildlife management decisions, then why did they do this? It seems ludicrous to sue for wrongful death in a known wild area, with wild animals, and warnings. We’re such a litigious and overly-indulged society. There are just some things that we cannot control.

              It seems all about not wanting to discourage visitors and their money. I’m going to find a place that is not so visitor dependent, and does place value on wildlife in my Western vacation plans.

              Anyone have any ideas if such a place exists?

              • Professor Sweat says:

                Kings Canyon National Park. It’s primarily a wilderness park. The only road into the canyon is closed from October to May usually and even the drive in is spectacular. The Canyon itself has paltry visitation compared Yosemite, but is far more beautiful in my opinion. The Kings river roars through the middle. It’s also adjacent to Seqioua National Park. Wildlife is abundant (usually black bears are out and about in May and early June) and I’m sure you know all about California’s hunting protections for certain carnivore species.

                • Ida Lupine says:

                  🙂 Thanks!

                • Zeewolf says:

                  Great idea… you don’t have to worry about Ol’ Ephraim in Kings Canyon (or Sequoia) National Park(s) because they exterminated them about a hundred years ago. Is that really better than Yellowstone?

                • Professor Sweat says:

                  Better is subjective. And I never said it was better than Yellowstone. I don’t think pointing out the crimes against nature committed a century ago are any reason to fault Kings Canyon. It also has low visitation compared to Yellowstone and most of the park is inaccessible Much of the year, so it doesn’t seem overly visitor dependent. California may be overpopulated and is far from perfect, but it’s wildlife laws are more progressive than any other western state I can think of. This is why I offered it as an option that may fit Ms. Lupine’s criteria.

                • Ida Lupine says:

                  California may be overpopulated and is far from perfect, but it’s wildlife laws are more progressive than any other western state I can think of.

                  Yes, I understood what you meant exactly. We can’t fix everything we’ve destroyed in the past, but we certainly don’t want to add more destruction in the present.

                  Progressive wildlife laws and ‘management’ are more important to me, and focusing on the present and future. That’s why Yellowstone CYA has become such a disappointment.

                • Zeewolf says:

                  Better is indeed subjective. The same wildlife “crimes” committed a century ago have been more or less redressed with the preservation of the grizzly bear and the restoration of the wolf in Yellowstone National Park. There are also buffalo thriving there. This has yet to occur in California and I have never heard any serious proposal to restore grizzly populations in that state, although I am not certain that they don’t exist.

                  I suppose I was responding to Ms. Lupine’s proposal to “wreckreate” (her term) in King’s Canyon because according to her previous post regarding National Parks “In a national park, you obviously can’t behave as you would back home. If wildlife is removed, then it is no longer what people come to see. Go to Disneyland.” So, therefore, to me, it seems odd that she would eschew a park with a full suite of wildlife to visit a park that has been emasculated. Perhaps she should swallow her own bitter pill and visit a place that has been sanitized, sterilized and made completely safe.

                  I’m curious Sweat, are you a booster for the park? I’m sure King’s Canyon is less visited than Yellowstone but I cannot imagine that the folks in Fresno, Porterville, Lone Pine or all the other gateway towns turn down the dollars that the tourists bring on their way to and from King’s Canyon. Is it really that depopulated? Although on the boundary with Sequoia N.P. the last time I checked the public needs to pull a permit to climb Mount Whitney, even for a mere day visit. That seems fairly busy to me. Also, there seems to be plenty of business associated with King’s Canyon, to wit:


                  And just how progressive is this?


                  I’d rather three grizzly be taken out of the ecosystem, although somewhat circumspect, than have the entire ecosystem be destroyed by our pollution.

                  So, Ida, go ahead and go to a nice sanitized park where you don’t have to worry about the Great Bear. It’s already been done for you. Or, you could go to Yellowstone and find the progressive people there and support those businesses. And take a hike and when you find a fresh grizz turd feel alive when your hackles go up on your neck…but, regardless whether or not you choose to carry bear spray, I would recommend that you learn what to do when a bear (black or grizzly) charges.

                  As far as focusing on only the present and future… really? I had previously thought you were merely uninformed but now I believe you are something of a fool, at least I believe you are fooling yourself. Those who don’t understand the past are condemned to repeat it, so I heard somewhere. You recently righteously lamented the spoliation of the Animas River and, though the EPA might deserve direct blame for the tragedy, it must be asked what brought it about but the legacy of mining from the nineteenth century? I have developed my wildlife and wildlands ethos from reading authors of the past and incorporating their ideas into my present beliefs and what I hope to see from the future.

            • Zeewolf says:

              “We’ve all heard of nations that restrict freedoms; I believe our nation is one that does not restrict freedoms enough.”

              Ida, you are right about this… and the first freedom that ought to be restricted is to limit the number of posts a person can make on this forum to, say, half a dozen a day.

  44. Ida Lupine says:

    Look how close these tourists are in this video about the incident. The Superintendent looks choked up. People really need to pay attention and obey the rules for their own safety! It is really maddening.


    • Ida Lupine says:

      Or at least the Superintendent looks extremely grave about the whole thing. Really sad. How could a bear not feel threatened with people that close? I envision fencing put up along the roadsides to keep people out, if they refuse to.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        If they refuse to follow the recommendations. That’ll take care of 90% of the tourists, the drive-by zoo mindset crowd with rugrats. Serious hikers and outdoor enthusiasts who take precautions won’t be affected.

    • Leslie says:

      I saw they used a clip from the young griz that attacked the car in the Beartooths. Those two grizzlies had been food adapted and so were moved. If you watch the peoples entire 5 minute video, the kids are screaming and afraid and the parents keep filming. Boy did that one make me mad as they could have driven away or honked their horn, but I think they wanted to use the video to go viral and make some cash. This filming of wildlife for personal gain is becoming a real problem. These videos that go viral are being bought by companies who then sell the clips (like to news organizations) and pay royalties to the idiots who take them. Wildlife then suffer.

  45. Ida Lupine says:

    I don’t know if they did anything to the bison that have gored or thrown some idiot tourists that got too close, but prey species are a bit dumber and it isn’t likely to be easily learned behavior to go after tourists.

    I have one more comment before Jay complains. This is not learned behavior for bison (at least not learned in the present millennium!), it’s how they protect themselves and most people realize this. Some of the visitors don’t seem to be able to learn is the problem.

    “A reasonable expectation of safety” – here’s what I think. I shouldn’t have to don a Kevlar vest to go to the movies, to class, or to walk down a city street. I would know enough to steer clear of bears, wolves, and mountain lions, and perhaps with them you’d be a lot safer! Talk about screwed up values.

    Have a good night, all –

    As fa

  46. Kathleen says:

    An enlightened editorial from the Toledo Blade…we all know that the Toledo Zoo is now the cubs’ “forever home.”
    Excerpt: “Exterminating the grizzly was a tough decision, but Yellowstone officials made the wrong call. In doing so, they have perpetuated a dangerous idea: that humans can obliterate risk when they wander through the woods.”


    • Ida Lupine says:

      Perfectly said. I look forward to reading.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        I really in good conscience can never set foot in there again. Yellowstone is forever ruined for me. I never kept track or was aware of the Wapiti bear, but this kind of destruction a disturbing trend that I don’t see changing anytime soon. Perhaps it will even getting worse. And I can’t tolerate bison selfies. I hope the little bears will do ok at the Toledo Zoo. Are we supposed to be thankful? FTS

  47. Ida Lupine says:

    Here’s more bad news. The zoo hasn’t got the greatest reputation (surprise):


  48. Ida Lupine says:

    Here’s an article about the bison selfies. Just look at this first comment. Not only did it harm the bison, but could have harmed the people in the oncoming car. I don’t know why the Park stoops to the lowest common denominator. I’d almost guarantee that the Park would have done zero about it, from my personal experiences reporting animal harassment to rangers. And there have been lawsuits about bison encounters, but they have been spectacular failures. I don’t know why this place is so lax:

    “We had a potentially terrifying situation in 2012 while driving from Mammoth to Tower. Some idiot in an SUV decided it was great fun to bump a lone male bison who was walking along the road. They were laughing and having a great time tormenting this poor animal. Unfortunately, they were bumping him directly into our path as we traveled in the other direction. The bison was obviously agitated and unhappy and shaking his head and stamping his feet. I kept backing up and backing up terrified that bison was going to decide to charge us since we were in front of him. I was driving a small car and that Bison was pretty much the same size as the car I was driving. Finally, the SUV idiots got tired of it and went past and we were able to slowly move past that poor beast. Only afterwards was I sorry I hadn’t gotten the license plate and reported him to the rangers. It doesn’t take much to upset these animals and caution and respect should be the most important values when visiting their home.”


  49. Nancy says:

    First he attracts these bears with bird feeders and pop, gets a chuckle taking videos and then whines to IFW when they gain entry, ransack & crap in his house. And, goes as far as saying if IWF doesn’t deal with the problem HE created, someone else might.

    They ought to throw the book at this idiot!!

    “The first visit was in May, when a family of bears climbed up the side of Harder’s home and onto his deck. Harder watched from the living room, shooting video as a bear and two cubs polished off birdseed from his feeder.

    They returned the next day and polished off four cans of Dr. Pepper on the deck. Hoping to deter future visits, Harder scrubbed the deck with chlorine bleach and got a smaller bird feeder”


  50. Ida Lupine says:

    I was curious as to why ‘experienced hiker’ was being used to describe Mr. Crosby – why would that make any difference? It certainly didn’t for Timothy Treadwell, and I doubt many could have as much experience as he did. Who knows what this man was doing, hiking, jogging, walking – where there were no witnesses there’s no way to tell, and he certainly did not appear to be experienced in avoiding bears.

    Incidentally, he was attacked at the same time of year:

    “Treadwell was in the park later in the year than usual, at a time when bears struggle to gain as much fat as possible before winter, and limited food supplies cause them to be more aggressive than in other months. Food was scarce that fall, causing the grizzly bears to be even more aggressive than usual. (source: Wikipedia”

    The Park’s, or the Dept. of the Interior’s, goals of increased visitors and maybe increased profits are in direct conflict with nature in these instances. It does not appear that scientists are making the decisions. People must be required to have something to defend themselves with such as bear spray, and during especially dangerous times of the year be encouraged to be especially vigilant, even to the point of closing areas where bears are to visitors entirely. It is unacceptable to have to destroy a bear to accommodate people who take park access and safety, and the lives of the Parks wildlife, for granted, and that the wildlife is expendable if people make foolish, careless mistakes. It is heartbreaking.

    According to Ghost Bear Photography’s Facebook page, the Elephant Back trail is open again and there have been more bear sightings, but at least I have yet to read any policy change announcements. Something as simple as an app showing where bears have been seen would be interesting and user encouraging for people.


    • greentangle says:

      Many areas of Yellowstone are completely closed to people or have limitations at various times of the year because of grizzly activity. There’s a map here. http://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/management/bearclosures.htm

      Unfortunately, something showing where bears are would lead to a large influx of people to that area, not to people avoiding it.

    • Nancy says:

      It’s the “ugh factor” that’s hard to get around in this sad situation Ida – bear eats human. By that act, she potentially offended the 3 million human folks who pay (homage) to Yellowstone.

      So a run down from CSI “bear people” who have to investigate this tragic event – Guy runs into bear, not just any bear but a female bear with cubs (probably sleeping in day beds when he stumbled across them)

      Disney did a few nature episodes on the Craigheads, who studied the grizzlies in Yellowstone Park, back in the 60’s, late 70’s. I recall those episodes.

      The Craigheads were convinced, even wrote about it (because they had many encounters with grizzlies during their studies in Yellwsotne) that if you made grizzlies aware of your presence at least 200 hundred yards out, the chances of any confrontation, were slim or none. They also had a lot to say about feeding stations, dumps sites, which were very popular in the park back in those days, encouraging humans to visit the Park.

      I think we humans, that stumble loudly around, thru wilderness areas, have no idea how wildlife might appreciate that fact when they are going about their own lives.

      So partly eaten and cached (something to eat at a later date) was the big problem here with this grizzly and her attack on this guy.

      Some history on bear encounters, posted it earlier, did you have a chance to read it Ida?


      Would Blaze be praised in the world of wildlife (and wildlife advocates 🙂 back in the 1800’s given the humans who died while killing off their kind?

      Mr. Crosby did everything wrong according to those that investigated his death. He tried to run away from this bear rather than submit (lay down, lay down NOW, you are threatening my children!) Then, he fought back, which no doubt enraged her more, given the fact that her life is spent protecting her cubs, especially from male bears who will kill her cubs (just to bring her back into estrogen) and most importantly, he didn’t carry bear spray.

      He was an experienced hiker in the park, Ida because he worked in the park for 5 years, knew the ground rules but he didn’t feel the need to carry THE most important, effective deterrent (bear spray) when it came to bear encounters. Works deterring bears, 92% of the time.

      From all accounts, Blaze went out of her way to tolerate humans and she raised from what I can gather, at least 5 sets of cubs, in an environment (human dominated) that pretty much hunted and trapped out her species, less than a century ago.

      The population of grizzlies in the Greater Yellowstone Area is estimated at about 1,000 grizzlies.

      Some “Whereas” thoughts on grizzlies:


      • Ida Lupine says:

        I know it’s the ugh factor – but that isn’t realistic, and it is pure ignorance. I hate that we think we are so sacred. We are not. It’s not only grizzlies that would do such a thing, any predator would. Your own cat or dog would do the same thing under certain circumstances. We create plenty of ugh factor on our own.

        Ugh isn’t based on science!

        • Ida Lupine says:

          This entire situation makes me go ‘ugh’ especially the vile way we kill animals and call it ‘euthanasia’. To again avoid the ‘ugh’ factor for clueless people. This is not the first time something like this has happened, so it isn’t anything new.

          I’ve been reading up on this ‘zoo’ the poor cubs are going to and they’ve had several animal losses over the years. Among other things, their so-called ‘bear expert’ denied food and water to a bear for weeks as a ‘mistake’; a lion died in surgery, and two zebras died from a bad reaction to haloperidol, the kind of drug James Holmes probably is or should be on, to prepare them to go ‘on loan’ to another zoo, like an inanimate objet to a gallery.

          Now that’s what I call an ‘ugh’ factor!

        • Nancy says:

          “Ugh isn’t based on science!”

          Neither is ignorance when it comes to food conditioning wildlife, Ida:

          Ida Lupine says:

          August 16, 2015 at 1:32 pm

          Dr. Pepper? I know I shouldn’t smile about it, but it is kind of cute. 🙂

          Why you shouldn’t smile:


          • Ida Lupine says:

            I know that. I didn’t say I approved or it, or would do it myself. Big difference. I was just commenting on bear behavior in general. Please don’t read into it. It’s a minor very infraction compared to the ignorance of Yellowstone visitors.

            • Ida Lupine says:

              Their curiosity, and their predilection for sweets. By no means do I approve of habituating or food conditioning.

      • Immer Treue says:


        “The Craigheads were convinced, even wrote about it (because they had many encounters with grizzlies during their studies in Yellwsotne) that if you made grizzlies aware of your presence at least 200 hundred yards out, the chances of any confrontation, were slim or none.”

        I remember reading the Craighead’s book that they occasionally would become so distracted tracking bears they had collared, only to all but stumble upon a non collared bear. They had some wild and wooly experiences.

      • Louise Kane says:


        This was an interesting read on bear attacks, although I found it confusing about what exactly works in a bear attack. Nothing is fail proof if you are attacked praying might work as well as anything!

        • Immer Treue says:

          Read that a wile ago. What I seem to remember is if escape is impossible (no bear spray/weapon etc)with a grizzly, only hope is play dead. Same situation with a black bear, fight for your life.

          Don’t know where that copy went, nor the Craigheads book.

  51. Yvette says:

    What could possibly go wrong with this scenario? Maybe we need to let evolution work. Humans are suppose to have the capacity to reason.


  52. Ida Lupine says:

    I didn’t realize that Blaze was still nursing the cubs. What an absolute horror. But here’s an idea – maybe YNP can start drugging all its wildlife to reduce chances of injury to visitors, who are not required to observe rules or exercise restraint in any way – just go out there and wreckreate!

    I don’t ever want to visit this place, I don’t even want to fly over it.

    “The Blade acknowledges: “Although there is little published veterinary literature about the effects of drugs like haloperidol in wild animals, the use of psychotropic drugs is likely to increase, as zoos look for ways to keep confined animals as happy and as injury-free as possible.”

    Pharma Found New Market for Psychtropic Drugs – Toledo Zoo

  53. ma'iingan says:

    “It certainly didn’t for Timothy Treadwell, and I doubt many could have as much experience as he did.

    Incidentally, he was attacked at the same time of year:”

    Big surprise – you don’t know what you’re talking about. Don’t even bother trying to compare this incident to Treadwell’s death. He was actively habituating bears to his presence, even going so far as to touch them – suicide by bear. And he was killed in October at 58 degrees latitude – the onset of winter, a far cry from Yellowstone in August.

    • Cary says:

      Agreed. Its been a while since I’ve seen so much ignorance and misinformation spew from one person.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      I was talking about ‘hibernation time’ for the bear, not in human terms of time. Whenever that happens for bears in Alaska, or WY, or what stage, I don’t know. What is the trigger? Temperature or light?

      Timothy may have been habituating the bears to his presence, but there’s no denying that habituation or wildlife is the order of the day at Yellowstone. In the case of TT it was one man or maybe his partner too; at Yellowstone, it is many, many visitors who, I can tell you from experience, do not show any restraint around wild animals.

      Blaze is a well-known bear at the Park, who has not had a history of aggression despite ‘overzealous Park visitors’ (and all that must imply). Who know what makes a bear ‘have enough’ one day? I have also read that Blaze had been hazed a day or two before, which may have agitated her. Mr. Crosby unfortunately just was at the wrong place at the wrong time. Feeding in preparation for hibernation is a big factor. Many animals and birds are preparing for winter and migration now. If we weren’t so caught up in our own business we’d notice these things.

      I’m looking forward to reading George’s article next about how humans have a difficult time with the unpredictable. Maybe some of you who haven’t seen ignorance ought to instruct simpletons in the art of using bear spray, and keeping the required distance away from wild animals.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        I love that temperatures vary there too – one day it’s 75, the next 40 and snow.

  54. Ida Lupine says:

    No, I don’t claim to know everything. But as someone who loves wildlife and wilderness, and semi-wilderness, the environment and protecting it for the present and the future – I think these are prudent questions to ask.

    Zee, I don’t blame the EPA re the Animas River polluting. This mine has been leaking for decades, and if it weren’t for local opposition, could have been a Superfund site years ago. HCN has an article calling it ‘the latest in 150 years of pollution’.

    There’s always Isle Royale to visit too, I’ve never been there and would love to:


  55. Zeewolf says:

    I found this post below using a search engine. I hope I’m not breaking the rules one way or the other, or duplicating something that has been posted before. With nearly 350 posts its difficult to differentiate the worthwhile from the trivial.


    • Jay says:

      Fairly level-headed response, although I do take issue with the jogging comment. Running silently along a trail where grizzlies reside is plain foolish–the chance is surprising a bear goes up exponentially. While hiking in griz country without bear spray is a bad idea, you’re more likely to see bears with enough time and space to react appropriately compared to running down the trail oblivious to your surroundings.

    • Ida Lupine says:

      Thank you. I never blamed Mr. Crosby, at all really. It’s the constant photos of people getting too close that are alarming, and then to read about a fatality. The only comment I would add is that while the hikers with bear spray were still injured, they are alive today.

      Good night,

      • Ida Lupine says:

        Actually, I appreciated Zee’s forwarding it to us, I found it interesting but I didn’t find it a good read, a little too humancentric.

        I don’t agree that “for the benefit and enjoyment of the people” means an open invitation to trash the place, and to do anything we want without any responsibility. I don’t think that is what the National Park founders had in mind, taking that phrase literally. I don’t blame Mr. Crosby individually, but I do blame clueless visitors as a whole, and a policy of ‘people’s recreation first’ by the Interior who do not think of how their behavior will bring this kind of conflice, and think that the wildlife is expendable for the sake of humans, much like a zoo’s misery is for ‘education’.

        A ‘de facto’ wildlife preserve – the Park comes with wildlife who have a right to live where they’ve lived long before we ever arrived. People have to realize that they are not leaving their cabin or campsite and stepping outside to take a jog around their local park back home!

        The poor bear does not know (or care!) that we are made in the image of our self-created God, and all the humancentric taboos and beliefs we have about death.

        I see no ‘ugh’ factor about an animal’s natural behavior, and the more that time goes on, I would find it preferable, returning to nature in the soil or animal food, shark bait, or Tibetan sky burial – rather than being pumped full of poisonous preservative chemicals and a monument made to myself. Once, you’re dead, you’re dead – it’s your spirit and memory that lives on.

        I don’t feel I am more important than any other living thing on Earth, and I find the way we treat other animals appalling.

        • Nancy says:

          “Please don’t read into it. It’s a minor very infraction compared to the ignorance of Yellowstone visitors”

          Your words Ida, please spent some digesting what you are reading on this site and quit running off at the mouth (via your minute by minute, hour by hour, comments) on subjects you know little if anything, about.

          Those bears in Idaho? Invading a home because the idiot who lives there is food conditioning them. They could end up dead because of his ignorance.

          Its NOT a minor infraction and if you lived here and cared about wildlife, I would imagine you’d realize that.

          But, you are miles and miles away and need to separate the good, the bad and the “ugh” and spent a lot less time preaching to the choir 🙂 IMHO

          • Ida Lupine says:

            You’re preaching to the choir, and you still don’t understand what I meant with my comment. So we might as well drop it.

            And you can bet your ass I wouldn’t and haven’t be doing some of the stupid things these people do, whether or not I am miles away or not. I’m a visitor too – and I notice you throw that miles away garbage around quite a bit.

            • Ida Lupine says:

              Just for the record – all I was saying is that a bear cub’s natural behaviors were cute. From that, don’t take it to mean I encourage food conditioning! Has calling an animal cute become forbidden now? That’s what I meant by the minor infraction. Of course the man should not be putting bait out for them, for whatever reason he has in mind.

              I wish you would come down as hard on selfie takers.

              I wish I could be more sympathetic to what to what happened in YNP, ordinarily I would be, and how it was handled – I’ve tried but I just cannot stomach it. I don’t know what makes this case different for me. Maybe it is the fact that no matter what we do, we make excuses for our own behaviors and even our own violent killers, and we greedily take everything from the environment. But we are draconian in our punishment and deprivation to animals.

              To quote the national line, these lands my lands too, in theory – so why does it doesn’t matter where I live.

              It never seems to improve either, and there will be a next time.

              And away we go with the attempts to vilify grizzlies in preparation for a delisting:

              Grizzlies kill about 17 one-thousandths of 1 percent of the hundreds of thousands of cattle that now graze the northern prairies, Servheen said. The area was once prime grizzly bear habitat.


              • Cary says:

                …yet multiple grizzlies are killed each year for predation (& by hunters), which makes all the outcry for this one bear that killed Mr. Crosby absurd.

              • WM says:


                If I recall correctly you were going to and did for awhile self-limit your posts to something like 4 per day.

                It would appear you have violated your own rule for some time here. Any chance you will go back on the diet…. soon?

    • Nancy says:

      A good read Zeewolf. Thanks for posting it.

      This thread probably makes history as one of, if not the longest, on TWN, that didn’t have to do with wolves.

      Would like to have heard some thoughts from Linda Jo, Bob Jackson and especially Kayla (where ever she might be in the wilds this summer 🙂 An older thread with some insights from Kayla:


      There have been a handful of grizzly sightings here this summer, more than usual and by folks that would probably know the difference between a grizzly and a black bear.

      If they stay in the back country, they might be safe since there seems to be little tolerance for big predators they come and hang out close to folks that have built on the fringes.

      • timz says:

        Not sure this is entirely true. Some are sure anxious to delist an allow hunting.
        “It’s insulting and contemptible to suggest that people who have devoted their professional lives to wildlife have anything but the deepest respect for animals. The very last thing they want to do is kill the creatures they are trying to preserve.”

        • Cary says:

          if the GYE Grizz were delisted and hunting allowed, ostensibly it would be under a trophy tag system. Do you think the mortality rate would be any different that the amount already killed by hunters?

          • timz says:

            Look back on how the wolf hunt started, as rather limited, then evolved into wholesale slaughter.

      • Zeewolf says:

        Nancy – thanks for the link to the older post. Informative. I enjoyed Kayla’s insights as well as style of writing.

  56. Immer Treue says:

    I think JB pegged it with this comment,

    ” The point is we know that predators form search images for prey when they encounter and consume something new, and we know that cubs learn what to eat from their mother, so there is every reason to suspect that a bear that has killed and consumed someone in the past will be more likely to do so in the future.”

    I believe we can be assured that in man’s distant past, this was quite a bit more common. That said, before man’s use of tools, and the associated skills with fashioning said tools into weapons, man had to be fairly easy pickings. One might also ask, as man is neither very large, comparatively strong, nor very fast, how was primitive man able to survive the smorgasbord of predators with which they shared the planet?

    For some odd reason, perhaps we don’t fit the usual predator “prey search image”. What does it take for the transition from accidental mauling, to a tasty, relatively easily procured treat?

    Some would have you believe that wolves and bears would make a feast of every unarmed man, woman or child that entered the woods. If it hasn’t happened during our distant past, I doubt it will happen now.

    However, in the times in which we live, when man does become the rare prey subject, tis better to be safe than sorry. What might be the fine line between this possible accidental predatory response transitioning into a more active predatory pattern, where even the best prepared hiker/camper is literally caught with their pants around their ankles?

    • WM says:

      It would seem that during periods of large human die-offs, like the plague, wars or other cataclysmic event where hundreds and even thousands of humans might go stacked and unburied for days, perhaps, that opportunities for predators to eat them would be abundant. Afterall, available dead protein is less effort and risk than something live, fleeting and maybe fighting back.

      Don’t know if there is much verifiable recorded history on this sort of thing, but it does not seem common. I gather there may be some records from Russia/Siberia, and certainly opportunity during WWII on the Eastern Front.

      Bears, wolves or even feral or captive hogs (which do like human flesh, it would seem) would have had abundant opportunity at various points in history.

      • JEFF E says:

        This is a premise I have advance here and elswhere numourous times over the years which i fully believe to be an accurate assumption.
        While we are at it, don’t forget such institutions as the soviet gulag or the forced slave labor in Nazi Germany, or,or, or……

      • Immer Treue says:

        Honest question. Was the purpose of Native American burial platforms a vector to avoid scavenging?

        • WM says:


          Thought provoking question, indeed. Probably that, and at least for a Plains Indian or other Northern groups, probably a lot more utilitarian than trying to dig a hole with a stick in frozen or otherwise hard ground. Same for some Southern groups where ground may be hard montmorillinite or caliche clays that are as hard as rock most of the year, and really gummy when they are wet. Then, maybe the idea of being above ground gets one closer to the Great Spirits, and is a better view than a couple feet under. Utility is the Mother of Invention. I vote for the platform.

        • Kathleen says:

          And then there are Tibetan sky burials, where scavenging is the whole point.
          Informative & not graphic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b6hSK8CluxQ

          Very graphic:

      • JB says:


        I encountered a book in France several years back that asserted that wolves killing people during the plague years was relatively common. I spoke recently about this with a European wolf researcher (Spanish) who concurred that the most likely explanation was wolves learning that humans were food from scavenging abandoned human carcasses. BTW, this researcher is starting a project in Iran where they’ve apparently had some issues with wolves killing people.

        • JEFF E says:

          I remember researching this question once before and coming across a account of a British diplomat who was in south central Europe, (Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan?)during one of the famines that regularly swept that area of the world, and wrote that” the aged, infirm, starving and orphaned children were regularly rounded up, put in wagons and taken a far enough distance from the cities that “there was no chance of any of them making it back”‘.
          So if “making it back” was prevented by weather, starvation, thirst, or predation, I was never able to nail down but I suspect any or all came into play.

          • Immer Treue says:

            JEFF E,

            Then predators could be convieniently scape goated. With the “Wolves in Russia” sensation/paranoia might the Russians and other ethnicities that you site, actually have food conditioned themselves to predators. Ergo, peopledid not fit the “prey image” until small people were actually served up on a platter, or food conditioned.

            • JEFF E says:

              the time frame of this was in the early 1800s. that area of the world was swept with frequent famines and also had a full complement of predators, not just wolves.
              But as I said I never did nail it down suffice to say that “something” had to be attracted to the remains, birds, bears, Asiatic lions, tigers so forth and so on.

              • JEFF E says:

                also I meant aged, starving, and infirm in all age groups in addition to orphaned children.

            • Nancy says:


              Spoke with a gal a couple of days ago who’s family lived close to the Glacier Park area, long before it was a park. She said her grandparents could recall when folks trapping & hunting, went missing and there was little if any, mention about their deaths.

              She could also recall in her youth, when Glacier became a park and problem bears would be dropped off in her neck of the woods, hoping they wouldn’t come back to the park.

              A similar rumor has been kept alive in my neck of the woods for years re: Yellowstone and their problem bears.

              Hard to know what’s fact and what isn’t but not far fetched given that bears went from entertainment value to a big concern in just a few short decades, in both parks.

              • Immer Treue says:

                With the web, news travels far and wide. Very few would know about or be cone earned about Blaze, or for that matter Cecil.

                Yellowstone bears went from entertainment to a threat when the garbage dumps were closed. I believe the Craighead brothers actually warned the park to go about the process slowly, as so many of the bears became dependent upon human refuse…

                Go off into a wilderness area and many things can happen, accidental or predatory. Trapper up here a few years back went through the ice while strapped into the sled he was hauling…if it had snowed that night, they never would have found him. I guess as he went through the hole, whether by accident or presence of mind, his hat was observed at the hole that was all but frozen over.

          • Mareks Vilkins says:

            1)only territory before Ural Mountains range is called Europe, beyond the Urals – it’s Asia. So technically speaking, only Ukraine belongs to Europe (not sure about ‘south’ or ‘central’, though)

            2)famines would be more probable in Central Asian countries (K,K,T,T,U-stans)and it not likely that if kids or elderly would be abandoned in Ukraine countryside they would met certain death – as Ukraine was known as the bread basket of Imperial Russia

            3)in 19th century all of those countries had agricultural economy, that is, majority of people lived in countryside

            today’s numbers are as follows:

            Kazakhstan 2.7M km2 – 15.3M people – urban population 58% – wolf population ~30K

            Uzbekistan 450K km2 – 31M people – urban pop. 37% – wolves 2K

            Turkmenistan 500K km2 – 6M people – urban pop. 50% – wolves 1K

            Tajikistan 145K km2 – 7.25M people – urban pop. 24% – wolves 3K

            Kyrgyzstan 200K km2 – 6M people – urban pop. 35% – wolves 4K

            • Mareks Vilkins says:

              about 40M people a year die from hunger & its related diseases – a lot of food for scavengers but where’s that predator habituation for/to humans as the source of food,eh?

              but never mind, continue your wailing about ‘that part of the world’ (as in Europe famines were a rarity – except for the fact that in Europe the spectre of famine that had haunted the continent for thousands of years disappeared in the 18th and 19th centuries as production increased and more food was imported from abroad (it only returned because of the social & economic dislocation brought on by war)

              and in the 17th or 18th centuries maybe 10% of population lived in towns in C-Asian societies, if that. And what was the average lifespan??

      • Mareks Vilkins says:

        4) “during periods of large human die-offs, like the plague, wars or other cataclysmic event where hundreds and even thousands of humans might go stacked and unburied for days, perhaps, that opportunities for predators to eat them would be abundant” (WM)


        “don’t forget such institutions as the soviet gulag or the forced slave labor in Nazi Germany, or,or, or…” (Jeff E)

        well, it’s worthwhile to remember that in Russia 80% of people are living in European part of the country which makes up 25% of the territory. Among them were plenty of hunters who tried to eliminate wolves at all costs throughout the year. So the wolf density wasn’t that high in that part of the country. I mean, it is of no use that plenty of human corpses lie around if there’s no wolves around. Anyway it would be strange to worry about wolf habituation during WW-2 (when it was humans killing humans that mattered and not occasional wolves predating on some folks).

        Majority of Russian wolves live around Baikal Lake area (Chita, Buryatia etc)but it wasn’t part of Eastern front in WW-2

        Taking into account Jeff E’s military background he has mental weakness / soft spot / sensitivity to particularly grim rumours with sordid / grisly details following – that’s why he will uncritically absorb any kind of shit ranging from Vietnam vets who were spitted at by antiwar hippies and Gulag etc etc . Of course, the reality is more mundane: on vets& spitting see
        “The Spitting Image
        Myth, Memory, and the Legacy of Vietnam”

        on Gulag one should consult Moshe Lewin’s appendixes in “The Soviet Century” – “Reliable statistics exist for the period 1 January 1934- 31 December 1947 indicating that, throughout the Gulag camp complex, 963 766 pprisoners died. This figure comprises not just ‘enemies of the people’, but also common law criminals.”

        Concerning the latest expose of ‘brainwashing under freedom’ about all things Slavic , I would recommend
        “Vulliamy and Hartmann on Srebrenica:
        A Study in Propaganda”
        by Edward S. Herman and David Peterson

        • Mareks Vilkins says:

          what’s relevant, though, is that in Germany in ~10K km2 area were living 250-300 wolves before they had pups in May


          “Management and Action Plan for the Bear Population in Romania” to maintain, in coexistence with people, viable populations of large carnivores as an integral part of ecosystems and landscapes across Carpathians.

          It has sections ‘Bears and Humans’ p.34-37
          Garbage – p.50 & 62
          Problem Bears – p.62-67
          Bears and Tourism – p.67-69
          Minimizing and Compensating Damage – p.69

          • Peter Kiermeir says:

            Mareks, those 10K km2 you Quote for the 20-300 Wolves in Germany, did you Forget an “0”? And, what for is this relevant? I´m a little bit lost.

            • Peter Kiermeir says:

              Mareks, the 5 German Federal Lands, with a reliable, stable and area-wide wolf population encompass ca. 140 000 km2.

            • Mareks Vilkins says:

              I haven’t forgotten anything – I was describing current situation as it is clear from “before they had pups in May”.

              You are talking about the potential/possible wolf range in Germany.

              10K km2 is an area ~YNP size.

              Next time improve your reading comprehension.

              • Mareks Vilkins says:

                the issue was predators and habituation – in Germany there’s a lot of opportunities for wolves to become food habituated, however, nothing so far happened.

                Romania was an example about grizzlies & food habituation.

                and keep furter getting lost

                • Peter Kiermeir says:

                  thanks a lot for just this tiny piece of info I was missing. As you already noted, I´m not the brightest candle on the tree and always grateful for help. Please grant me another question: Where do this 10K km2 come from? In my understanding the wolf habitat currently encompasses 5 Federal States with a total landmass of 140000km2. Sorry for bothering you again.

              • Mareks Vilkins says:

                and how do you think – maybe from German wolf biologist,eh? the estimate actually was 12-13K km2

                • Mareks Vilkins says:

                  wolf range consists of wolf pack territories – not of German administrative units, you funny

                • Peter Kiermeir says:

                  Ok, as the exact official number in m2 of the area currently occupied by wolf packs in Germany is not available. Such a number would be hard to come by – maybe somebody with a lot of spare time will calculate it once (Total area of the state, minus the area of towns, villages, industrial plants, etc.etc.! So the “wolf biologist” you quote, gave you a rough estimate based on “intelligent guesswork” to make you happy. Nothing more and nothing less!

                  Just do some simple math: 10K km2 would be roughly the area of the Lausitz Region, part of Saxonia/Brandenburg, where everything began with a pair of wolves in 1996. In the meantime wolves have spread into another 4 other Federal States. You get the point? You are surely right however in your assumption that in Germany wolves might be possible more prone to human feeding than elsewhere – maybe with the exception of YNP.

                • Peter Kiermeir says:

                  Thanks for your quick and polite answer. Now I finally got it:
                  You simply multiply the estimated number of packs with the average territory size of a pack, and you come up with an estimated value. In this case it´s ~ 36packs x ~300m2 per pack = 10800m2. Fine – but of not much practical value! .

                • Mareks Vilkins says:

                  it is you who is the one prone to ‘guessing’

                  German wolf biologist made reference to the scientific survey where they used grid made of 10 x 10 km cells. The number of cells where wolves have been proved was about 150. That means the area occupied by wolves was about 15 000 km2.

                  Since they counted also sporadic occurrences about 20 – 30 grid cells (2000 – 3000 km2) should be removed.

                  Next time do your homework. Try harder.

                • Mareks Vilkins says:


                  don’t know what Turks in Germany would think about your ‘politeness’:

                  “Lost in Translation! “72 virgins await you….” this was a sloppy Translation. The original said: “a 72 year old virgin awaits you…..
                  Sorry, I couldn´t resist 🙂 ”

                  but don’t worry – Germans cannot push Turks around like they pushed Jews & Gypsies around. Turks know it. And Germans themselves know it. That’s why Turks will probably politely read your kind remarks about Muslims & ‘politeness’ and will have a laugh.

                  Polite racist – that’s an oxymoron. But it’s preferable to live in such self-deception, though.

        • Mareks Vilkins says:

          Gulag deaths were concentrated around camps and not spread around evenly through wolf range in Siberia + buried in mass graves or smth

          In Russian Civil War, famine and WW-2 there were incidents of cannibalism, maybe to silence their conscience such kind of folks preferred to gossip about savage wolf attacks on humans. That’s probable.

  57. Ida Lupine says:

    But then you have to ask yourself, who caused the deaths of all these people, at least from wars, that predators learned to scavenge in the first place? Humans. Blaming the predators seems a little guilt deflecting, cognitive dissonance, or something.

    We need to modify our behavior in the park.

    • JB says:


      I’m not sure if your comment was meant for me, but my intent was not to blame predators (and at least currently, I don’t have any guilt that needs deflecting). My comment was meant to describe the mechanism by which predators can learn to kill people — or more precisely, learn that we can be food. If you look (above) at the responses to my earlier post, you’ll see the context for this comment. This is why I absolutely support killing large carnivores that have killed and fed upon people–even if blame for the incident can be attributed to the person.

      • Ida Lupine says:

        No, no – it wasn’t directed to you. Just a general comment and thought.

        • Ida Lupine says:

          I just think we are a little too free with killing animals, I almost have more respect for some hunters in some cases because they go out prepared for danger, and plan ahead for it.

          I am happy to see that the majority of posters and commenters to articles about this think this decision was incredibly wrong – and to compound it by sending very young cubs to a zoo even worse. It is illogical to punish cubs who probably would not go on to harm anybody.

          • Cary says:


            I’m not sure you are correct with that assumption. I trust YNP and FWS biologists to do the right thing, and they have a great track record for doing what they can for Grizz recovery. They have no business pandering to photographers and overly whiny misanthropic critics, and they didn’t.

            You are keeping your commitment never to visit the Park again, right?

  58. Ida Lupine says:

    Lovely lovely article in National Geographic:


  59. Cary says:

    the report was published earlier this month


  60. Ida Lupines says:

    What a waste. All because the man ‘always hiked alone, never carried bear spray, and in fact didn’t believe in carrying it because it would make him too ‘complacent’, but wanted to rely on his senses. So he was an experienced hiker, who cares? I don’t know what that adds to his defense? Every situation in the wild can be unique. I really don’t know what to say after reading this. 🙁 The Park needs to ensure that people follow the rules. I’m still terribly disappointed.


August 2015


‎"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