New details emerge in the bear attack that claimed the life of a Montana man.
Crosby was a seasonal worker with Medcor for five years, a company that operates urgent care clinics within the park. He is also described as an experienced hiker. Officials have not stated if Crosby was carrying bear spray at the time of the attack.
The attack apparently happened while Crosby was hiking in an off-trail area of Lake Village on the Elephant Back Loop Trail. A search began after he failed to report in for work on Friday morning.
His partially consumed and cached body was located by a ranger last Friday. Defensive wounds on Crosby’s forearms indicated he was victim of a bear attack.
The areas around Elephant Back Loop trail were immediately closed down and biologists set out bear traps in hopes of capturing the responsible animal. They were successful in capturing an adult female grizzly that evening. Officials had already suspected a sow with cubs based on footprints found in the vicinity of Crosby’s body.
Biologists are now conducting an investigation using DNA evidence to determine if the captured bear is the one responsible for the attack. They are also using scat samples and comparing paw measurements to tracks found at the scene.
Officials say the bear will be euthanized if it is found to be the one involved in the attack.
“The decision to euthanize a bear is one that we do not take lightly. As park managers, we are constantly working to strike a balance between the preservation of park resources and the safety of our park visitors and employees,” Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk said in a press release.
He says the decision is based on the circumstances of the event and Yellowstone’s own bear management program.
“The primary goals of this program are to minimize bear-human interactions, prevent human-caused displacement of bears from prime food sources, and to decrease the risk of bear-caused human injuries,” Wenk said.
In the meantime, the Crosby family has asked for privacy at this time and have no plans for a media statement.