A 57-year-old man was killed by a grizzly bear Wednesday at Yellowstone National Park. And if that doesn't break your heart enough, know that when the bear came charging, he yelled for his wife to run and she survived.
Apparently, the hiking couple inadvertently surprised the mama grizzly and her cubs, and in an effort to protect her babies, she did what any mother would do. She attacked. Her whereabouts are still unknown.
This is awful. Horrific. I honestly don't know how I would be able to handle something this tragic if it were to happen to someone I loved. But I still think Yellowstone is right in their decision not to kill the bear.
People who camp and hike know the risks when going into it. (This, and axe murderers, is one reason I will never go camping myself.) They're essentially entering the "bear's kingdom." They were there first.
Parks can't control how the animals behave. And in the case of this mama grizzly, she was only protecting her cubs. As a spokeswoman for Yellowstone pointed out, the bear was only acting normally. That said, bears who have "repeated run-ins with park visitors" are re-located. And rightfully so. That is the humane way to deal with such a situation. Killing a bear for, well, being a wild animal would be cruel.
Last July was a different story, though. A mother grizzly killed one man and injured two people in a strange, unprovoked night-time attack while the campers were sleeping. That bear was put down because the attack was considered out of the ordinary and predatory. It's sad that the animal had to die, but it's at least sort of understandable.
My heart goes out to this brave man's family. What he did was heroic and how he died was tragic. But I'm still glad the bear's life won't be taken, also.
Do you think the grizzly should be killed?
Image via ilashdesigns/Flickr