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Grizzly Bear May Be Euthanized After Hiker Is Mauled To Death

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And now more on a deadly bear attack at Yellowstone National Park. A bear has been captured, and if DNA tests prove the animal was responsible for a hiker's death, the bear might be killed. Montana Public Radio's Eric Whitney reports.

ERIC WHITNEY, BYLINE: The man killed was 63-year-old Lance Crosby of Billings, Mont. He worked for a private medical contractor in the park and had spent five seasons in Yellowstone. He's described as an experienced hiker who was in a fairly heavily traveled part of the park. But park Superintendent Dan Wenk says Crosby was hiking alone, away from an established trail and without bear repellent.

DAN WENK: Those are things that are certainly not recommended.

WHITNEY: Exactly what happened to Crosby is unknown, but his remains were found Friday, and evidence points to an attack by a female grizzly bear with two cubs. Traps were set in the area, and a mother and one cub have been captured. If tests prove they were involved, Wenk says the adult bear will be killed and the cub will be offered to a zoo or other facility.

WENK: The decision to euthanize this bear will be made in the context of an overall bear program in conjunction with visitor use, visitor enjoyment and visitor safety.

WHITNEY: Critics say the bear shouldn't be killed for simply acting naturally, especially when the hiker apparently failed to take recommended safety precautions. For NPR News, I'm Eric Whitney in Gardiner, Mont. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.