Science and TechAnimals and Insects


Grizzly bear euthanized after breaking into West Yellowstone home

The bear had multiple encounters with people in and around Yellowstone National Park, including a fatal attack of a woman in July.
Grizzly bear in a wooded area.
Posted at 11:36 AM, Sep 08, 2023

A grizzly bear that was blamed for killing a West Yellowstone, Montana, woman in July was euthanized after multiple conflicts with people, the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks department confirmed. 

The bear was euthanized Saturday after officials said it broke into a home. The agency reported that the bear and a cub broke through a kitchen window of an occupied home and removed a container of dog food from inside the house.

The 46-pound cub was captured and will be taken to a zoo. 

Wildlife officials said the bear was originally captured in 2017 for research purposes but released. 

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In addition to the July incident, officials said the bear was also involved in an attack at a state park in 2020. In both instances, officials deemed that the bear was acting in a defensive manner.

"Multiple efforts to trap and remove the bear were made after the fatal attack in July due to the incident’s proximity to residences, campgrounds, and high-use OHV trails. These efforts were unsuccessful," Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks said. 

From 1979-2022, there were 44 reported grizzly bear attacks in Yellowstone National Park, the National Park Service said. Eight people have been killed by bears in the park since it was established in 1872, the National Park Service said.

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Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks issued the following guidance for avoiding encounters with bears:

- Carry bear spray and be prepared to use it immediately.

- Travel in groups whenever possible and make noise, which can help alert bears to your presence.

- Stay away from animal carcasses, which often attract bears.

- Follow food storage orders from the applicable land management agency.

- If you encounter a bear, never approach it. Leave the area when it is safe to do so.

- Keep garbage, bird feeders, pet food and other attractants put away in a secure building. Keep garbage in a secure building until the day it is collected. Certified bear-resistant garbage containers are available in many areas.

- Never feed wildlife. Bears that become food-conditioned lose their natural foraging behavior and pose threats to human safety. It is illegal to feed bears in Montana.