Belfast Telegraph

Friday 9 October 2015

Bear captured after killing man

Published 29/07/2010

A marksman patrols the area where a man was killed by a bear at the Soda Butte camp site in Wyoming
A marksman patrols the area where a man was killed by a bear at the Soda Butte camp site in Wyoming
A sign at the entrance of the Soda Butte camp site after the bear attack

A mother grizzly bear and two of her three cubs have been captured after killing a man and injuring two other people during an overnight rampage through a campsite near Yellowstone National Park.

The mother, estimated to weigh 300lb-400lb, was lured into a trap fashioned from a culvert pipe set over the dead man's tent on Wednesday night.

The bear tore down the tent again and was caught in the trap, said Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesman Ron Aasheim. By Thursday morning, two of the year-old cubs had been caught and the third could be heard nearby, calling out to its mother, he said.

Montana wildlife officials identified the dead man as Kevin Kammer, 48, of Grand Rapids, Michigan. The bear pulled him out his tent and dragged him 25ft to where his body was found, Mr Aasheim said. The other victims, Canadian Deb Freele, of London, Ontario, and an unidentified male, are in hospital in Cody, Wyoming.

Fish, Wildlife and Parks Warden Captain Sam Sheppard said he was confident they had captured the killer bear because it came back to the same site where the man was killed.

Capt Sheppard described the rampage - in which campers in three different tents were mauled as they slept - as a highly unusual predatory attack.

"She basically targeted the three people and went after them," he said. "It wasn't like an archery hunter who gets between a sow and her cubs and she responds to protect them."

Officials have said the mother bear would be killed once DNA evidence confirmed it was the animal that attacked the victims.

"Everything points to it being the offending bear, but we are not going to do anything until we have DNA samples," Mr Aasheim said.

State and federal wildlife officials will determine the fate of the cubs. Capt Sheppard said they were unlikely to be returned to the wild because they could have been learning predatory behaviour from their mother.

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