Grizzly Kills Yellowstone Hiker

Victim worked in park

Bear traps were set in the area. Bears that are caught will be euthanized if park officials can determine that they were involved in the attack. (Yellowstone National Park / Flickr)
Photo: Yellowstone National Park / Flickr Yellowstone

This story was updated on August 17 to reflect a change in development.

On Friday, a park ranger found the body of 63-year old Lance Crosby in Yellowstone National Park, according to a press release from the National Park Service (NPS). The body was found in an off-trail area, about half a mile from the Elephant Back Loop Trail. Crosby was reported missing after he did not report to work on Friday morning. The initial investigation suggests that an adult female grizzly bear and at least one of her cubs killed him.

Crosby was a Montana native and longtime employee of Medcor, a company that runs three urgent care clinics in the park. The NPS press release described him as an “experienced hiker” who had worked in Yellowstone for five seasons. 

Bear traps were set in the area on Friday evening. On Monday, park officials captured a sow grizzly and a cub, according to the NPS. They’re testing them to determine if they were responsible for the attack. If DNA ties the bears to Crosby, the sow will be euthanized and officials will try to place the cub in a zoo.

“We may not be able to conclusively determine the circumstances of this bear attack, but we will not risk public safety,” Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk said in the release. “We are deeply saddened by this tragedy, and our hearts go out to the family and friends of the victim as they work to cope with the loss of someone who loved Yellowstone so very much.”

UPDATE: August 13, 17:00 MDT: The bear has been put down, and the closed trail will reopen on Friday, according to CNN.

UPDATE: August 17, 11:30 MDT: The two cubs that were orphaned when their mother was put down will go to the Toledo Zoo, according to the National Parks Traveler.


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