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Entries in Grizzly Bear (6)

Thursday
Jan172013

Grizzly Bear Cub Escapes in Florida Neighborhood

Roberta Olenick/All Canada Photos/Getty Images(NAPLES, Fla.) -- A pet grizzly cub  is on the lam after escaping from its Naples, Fla., home.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is leading the search for the 125-pound cub, which disappeared from its habitat Tuesday afternoon.

Dexter Osborn, the owner of the cub, has two other bears and tours the country with an educational show, “A Grizzly Experience,” visiting festivals, fairs and sport shows, according to his website.

The bears live in a 2-acre spread on a Florida ranch, the website said.

Fish and Wildlife officers planned to work into the night searching for the bear and warned it could travel in search of food.

“Residents should remain calm, but pay attention to their surroundings,” said Mitts Mravic, one of the Fish and Wildlife officials leading the search.  “If you see the bear, please do not approach it.  Get indoors if you can, and call the Fish and Wildlife Commission or local law enforcement.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Monday
Nov052012

Death of Mauled Grizzly Bear Trainer Could Be an Accident

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(BOZEMAN, Mont.) -- A 24-year-old trainer was mauled to death Sunday while cleaning the Animals of Montana grizzly bear enclosure in Bozeman, Mont., officials say.

Animals of Montana, a wildlife casting agency, said it regards the death of Benjamin Cloutier, a former Pennsylvania resident, as a possible accident rather than an attack.

“We do not believe it was an attack. The victim has been with us since 2008. He was a highly experienced trainer, and it is unlikely that the bears caused his death,” Animals of Montana’s lead head trainer, Demetri Price, told ABC News.  “He had the right safety equipment and the right training to avoid that kind of attack. The investigators are looking into other causes of death. He might have accidentally slipped in the cage or hit his head prior to the mauling.”

Animals of Montana provides captive-bred wild animals for photography shoots and motion pictures. Adam, Griz and Yosemite were the “Trio of Grizzly Bears” that the organization said it proudly offered to clients.  Griz was put down so that Cloutier’s body could be retrieved.

“Griz and Yosemite look like they have been involved in the mauling. At the time we found our trainer, Griz had a grip on him. This was a life-and-death situation where I was putting my safety at risk while trying to save our trainer, whom we suspected might still be alive. Our initial abating techniques failed and destroying Griz was our last resort to retrieve our trainer in the safest way possible,” said Price, who told ABC News that the Animals of Montana owner Troy Hyde was on a trip to Los Angeles when the incident happened.

Hyde’s attorney, Chuck Watson, said that the cause of the Cloutier’s death is yet to be determined pending an autopsy. “The circumstantial evidence we have so far does not suggest a bear attack since there weren’t any defense wounds. Of course, we’ll have to wait for the autopsy results to find out what really happened,” said Watson.

The death is being investigated by the Gallatin County Coroner and Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks wardens.

“We are the ones who issue licenses for facilities like Animals of Montana to keep a wild animal like a grizzly bear captive,” Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks warden’s Public Information Officer Andrea Jones told ABC News. “From the way it looks, the trainer and the facility did not violate any of our licensing rules and regulations at the time of the incident. The man was operating within the normal business hours and met all the regulations involved in his activity. It is up to the coroner and the Sheriff’s office to rule the cause of death.”

“We suffered a double loss,” said Price. “We lost a very valuable trainer, tragically, and we lost one of our most precious bears. We invested in Griz hours and hours of training and love and care.”

“It’s very tragic that they suffered these losses,” said attorney Watson. “Destroying the bear must have been a difficult decision since, believe me, the last thing these people want to do is kill an animal. But it was a life-and-death situation and it must have been devastating.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Sep252011

‘Hero’ Hunter Was Killed by Pal, Not Grizzly

Tom Brakefield/Thinkstock(WINNEMUCCA, Nev.) -- The Nevada hunter hailed as a hero for saving his friend’s life when he distracted a wounded grizzly bear that was  attacking him wasn’t killed by the bear but by a gunshot fired by his friend, police now say.

The Montana State Crime Lab determined that Steve Stevenson, 39, of Winnemucca, Nev., died of a single gunshot to the chest.

Stevenson and Ty Bell, 20, were hunting black bear along the Montana-Idaho border when they shot what they thought was a black bear. They were tracking the wounded animal when they found it was a grizzly, and it turned on them, first attacking Bell.

Stevenson started shouting at the grizzly, trying to distract it from attacking his hunting companion, the man’s family said.

It appears that when the animal turned on Stevenson, Bell started shooting at it, and a bullet hit Stevenson in the chest, killing him, Bowe said. Officials are convinced it was an accident.

Officials are also investigating the bear’s death, since it is a crime to kill a grizzly bear.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Sep212011

911 Tapes Released in Deadly Grizzly Attack at Yellowstone

Tom Brakefield/Thinkstock(YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo.) -- A man calling 911 from Yellowstone National Park can be heard telling rangers that he believes a grizzly bear is attacking a hiker and he can hear the man screaming for help.

Authorities released the 911 calls Tuesday from the grizzly attack that left a man dead in July.

The calls show a concerned hiker from a party of six that can hear the frantic screams of a man and a woman near Wapiti Lake.  The attack eventually claimed the life of 57-year-old Brian Matayoshi, who was hiking with his wife Marilyn.

The first call that came in to 911 dispatchers wasn’t sure what happened.

“A couple may have possibly been attacked by bears,” the caller says.  “Should we try to go in and get the person out?”

He tells the 911 operator that his party had just seen a mother bear and baby cubs go by, and then heard a man and a woman yelling from farther up the trail.

“It sounded like they were trying to scare the bear.  I hear a man’s voice making loud animal noises, trying to scare it,” the caller said.  “I heard a woman, it sounded like she was scared.”

The operator tells the man that rangers will look into it, but a short time later, the same hiker calls back.

“We can hear someone calling for help,” he said.  “All I can hear is a lady’s voice.  There was a man as well.  We’re worried that the man may be injured.”

The caller then identifies himself as a trauma surgeon and offers to go into the trail toward the yelling if the operator and rangers think it is a safe move.  They advise him not to go.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene, while the woman suffered only minor injuries.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug302011

Man Killed By Grizzly, Family Speaks Out

File photo. (Tom Brakefield/Thinkstock)(NEW YORK) -- The Michigan man found dead last week, killed by a grizzly bear while hiking through Yellowstone National Park, died while visiting a place he loved, his family told ABC News.

Relatives of 59-year-old John Wallace told ABC that he'd told his wife in a voicemail last week that "being in Yellowstone was like being in heaven."

Wallace's body was found Friday along the Mary Mountain Trail where he had been hiking. Hikers found his body by itself, surrounded by bear tracks. An autopsy concluded he died from injuries sustained in a bear attack.

"We're still trying to piece it together from the evidence that's on site in terms of what were the circumstances that led to the attack," Park Superintendent Dan Wenk told ABC News.

Wildlife agents are now trying to capture the bear. On Monday, they began setting traps, and they plan to kill the animal if they can establish through DNA analysis that it was the same bear that killed Wallace.

Wallace's death is the second fatal bear attack this summer at the famed park.

There were no signs of cubs in the area where Wallace was killed.

There are more than 600 bears in the greater Yellowstone area, but the two maulings this summer are the first inside the popular park in 25 years.

Wallace, whose family said was an experienced hiker, entered the park alone last Wednesday and pitched a tent in a developed campground, according to Wenk. Authorities said he was likely killed Wednesday or Thursday.

A pack found alongside Wallace's body contained a snack bar, left untouched by the grizzly bear. No containers of pepper or bear spray were found in his pack, something wildlife experts warn against traveling without in bear-infested areas like Yosemite.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jul062011

Grizzly Bear Kills Hiker in Yellowstone National Park

A grizzly bear is shown in this undated photo. Tom Brakefield/Thinkstock(YELLOW NATIONAL PARK, Wyo.) -- A husband and wife’s backcountry hike along a popular trail turned tragic when they stumbled upon a grizzly bear and her cubs and the man was mauled to death, Yellowstone National Park officials said.
 
The couple was hiking along the Wapiti Lake Trail in the Grand Canyon area of the park, park officials told ABC News.  They had walked about a mile and a half from the trail head when they saw the grizzly sow and her cubs.
 
“The bear attacked the man and killed him,” said Yellowstone spokesman Al Nash.
 
The woman screamed for help as the bear was attacking her husband.  Nearby hikers heard the pleas and dialed 911.  By the time park rangers arrived, the man was dead.
 
“The initial indication is the sow grizzly was protecting her cubs,” Nash said.  “The investigation, as it unfolds, will help us determine if that, indeed, was the case.”
 
The park is not releasing the identities or the hometown of the couple.
 
After the attack, all of Yellowstone’s backcountry campsites and hiking trails in the area were closed. Rangers were on patrols to clear out all visitors from those backcountry areas, park officials said.  Bear warning signs have been posted along the trail.
 
There had been no reports of bear encounters in the area this season.  There also had been no reports of animal carcasses found, which often can be a sign of bear activity.
 
Rangers are looking for the bear, Nash told ABC News, but it’s too soon to say if it will be trapped or killed, if found.
 
Yellowstone’s hiking trails are typically packed with visitors this time of year.  Bear encounters are rare, but they do happen.  Wednesday's incident is the first bear-caused human death in Yellowstone since 1986.
 
“It is extremely unfortunate that this couple’s trip into the Yellowstone backcountry has ended in tragedy,” Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk said.
 
Those who decide to hike on Yellowstone’s trails, officials said, should hike in groups of three or more people, make lots of noise and carry bear pepper spray.  It was unknown if the couple attacked was carrying bear pepper spray.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio