Grizzly bear attacks are rare, and hikers are encouraged to carry pepper spray to deter attacks. PHOTO COURTESY U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE.
Wife survived by playing dead; early investigation suggests bear acted to defend her cubs but killing will be reviewed by an interagency panel
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Yellowstone National Park officials released the names of two hikers who were attacked by a grizzly bear this week, and said that an initial investigation showed that the female bear acted in a purely defensive nature to protect her cubs.
In a press release, the victim of the fatal mauling was identified as 57-year-old Brian Matayoshi, who was hiking Wednesday morning (July 6) with his wife, Marylyn, on the Wapiti Lake Trail, which is located off the South Rim Drive, south of Canyon Village and east of the park’s Grand Loop Road.
The couple was hiking west back toward their vehicle at about 11 a.m. when they walked out of a forested area and into an open meadow where they spotted the bear about 100 yards away. The began to walk away and when they looked back, they saw the bear running down the trail at them.
The couple began running, but the bear caught up with them, attacking Mr. Matayoshi. The bear then went over to Mrs. Matayoshi, who had fallen to the ground nearby. The bear bit her daypack, lifting her from the ground and then dropping her. She remained still and the bear left the area. (more…)
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