Bear Behind Yellowstone Death

Second fatal mauling in two months

Grizzly bear

Grizzly bear     Photo: ilashdesigns/Flickr

Rangers in Yellowstone National Park confirmed Monday that the hiker found dead last week was killed by a grizzly bear. Two hikers discovered the body of John Wallace, 59, on Friday on the Mary Mountain Trail, a section of the park previously closed to the public. Rangers later found bear tracks and scat at a campground where they believe Wallace had stayed, but were unsure whether a bear was responsible for his death or had disturbed Wallace's body postmortem. An autopsy later confirmed the cause of death as traumatic injuries from mauling. Park spokesman Al Nash said that because nobody witnessed the attack, it's "just not possible for us to determine why this bear attacked Mr. Wallace." The mauling is the second fatal mauling in Yellowstone this summer. In July, a 57-year-old California man was killed when he came across a grizzly sow and her cubs. Park managers found no evidence of bear cubs near Wallace's body and do not believe the same bear is responsible. Until July, Yellowstone had not seen a fatal bear mauling since 1986.

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