Woman Is Killed by a Bear Near Yellowstone, Officials Say

Woman Is Killed by a Bear Near Yellowstone, Officials Say

As discussed below, grizzly populations are expanding, and human-grizzly conflicts are increasing.


This inevitably leads to more bears being killed by agencies charged with removing problem bears and humans defending themselves. It also prompts unprovoked, illegal bear shootings by people who fear the bruins and despise the agencies who they see as the creators, not the solvers, of bear problems.


Bears are smart, and like wolves, bears know to avoid humans where people hunt them. Limited bear hunting and legalized bear hazing with bird shot would reduce the total bear mortality and make them safer to be around.


Any Alaska outfitter will say that limited hunting, and bird shot in the butt teaches bears to stay away from humans and saves hundreds of bears annually. In the Kamchatka Peninsula of Eastern Siberia, bears run like hell when they see people because the Russians hunt their bears. In Yellowstone by contrast, many bears come close to see what’s on the menu.


As part of our misguided anti-hunting, “hands-off” wildlife management dogma, we refuse to teach or threaten bears in any way—until they get a death sentence.


NOTE: this article was originally published to NYTimes.com on July 24, 2023. It was written by Eduardo Medina.


The woman’s body was discovered on a trail near the national park after an apparent encounter with a grizzly bear, officials said.


A woman was killed by a bear over the weekend on a trail near West Yellowstone, Mont., officials said on Monday, noting that grizzly bear tracks and a bear cub had been found near the scene.

The body of the woman, identified as Amie Adamson, 48, of Derby, Kan., was found on Saturday on the Buttermilk Trail, eight miles west of West Yellowstone, a town of about 1,200 residents that is roughly a mile from Yellowstone National Park. She had wounds consistent with a bear attack, the authorities said.

Ms. Adamson had been on a morning hike or run along the trail at the time of the attack, which did not appear to be predatory, the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office said on Monday.

The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks department said in a statement on Monday that a hiker had found Ms. Adamson’s body. She was believed to have been alone during the encounter with the bear, and no bear spray or firearms were found at the scene, the department said. No bears have been located.

Grizzly bears, which are a federally protected subspecies of brown bears in all lower 48 states under the Endangered Species Act, roam throughout Montana. Their populations have expanded across the state in recent years and, in some cases, grizzlies have been spotted in places where they had not been seen for more than a century, including in the Pryor Mountains, where the species had likely not been seen since the late 1800s, the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks department said in a statement.

That expansion “enhances the long-term prospects for population sustainability” for the bears, but it also “poses new challenges” for Montanans because the animals can damage property or injure people, the department said.

Officials have warned visitors to “be bear aware,” prompting concern among some residents, who have been reporting more sightings.

Grizzlies are larger than black bears, with adults standing more than eight feet when they are reared up on their hind legs. The average weight of a grizzly bear is 400 to 500 pounds for males and 250 to 350 for females. And the bears can run up to 35 miles per hour.

Last month, the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks department posted an undated photoof a grizzly bear standing almost as tall as a shed, its long and curved claws slashing bits of wood.


This month, the department said a grizzly bear had been captured and euthanized after it had “several conflicts with people” along a reservoir in Flathead County, about 380 miles northwest of West Yellowstone. The male grizzly bear was “food conditioned and habituated” to people, the department said, which typically means that the bears had sought or obtained food from people, destroyed property or displayed aggressive behavior toward people.

Grizzly bear attacks, however, are extremely rare. Since Yellowstone National Park was established in 1872, only eight people have been killed by bears in the park, most recently in 2015, according to the National Park Service. Since 1979, 44 people have been injured by grizzly bears in the park, which has had more than 118 million visitors during that time.

“More people in the park have died from drowning (125 incidents) and burns (after falling into hot springs, 23 incidents) than have been killed by bears,” the service said.

Still, the danger is real and officials have offered Montanans several tips: Carry and know how to use bear spray; travel in groups when possible and plan to be out in the daylight hours; avoid carcass sites and concentrations of ravens and other scavengers.

Officials also advise residents to watch for signs of bears, like torn-up logs and turned over rocks, partly consumed animal carcasses and bear scat. Park or trail visitors should also make noise to alert bears to their presence, particularly when they go near streams or walk in thick forest.

The final tip is simple: “Don’t approach a bear.”

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