Grizzly euthanized after biting hunter at carcass site
November 14, 2011
By Martin Kidston, BillingsGazette.com
CODY, Wyo. — An old and underweight grizzly bear was euthanized
over the weekend after biting a deer hunter on the leg along the
South Fork of the Shoshone River.
Wyoming Game and Fish spokesman Dennie Hammer said the grizzly
bit the man on the thigh. The hunter, who surprised the bear,
received four puncture wounds from the bite but wasn’t seriously
hurt, Hammer said.
“He was hunting with a friend in a dense willow patch,” Hammer
said. “He walked in on a bear that was lying there, and the bear bit
him on the left thigh.”
Hammer said the attack occurred late last week during a full moon
at around 7:30 a.m. Biologists searched for the bear over the
weekend and found the animal underweight and in poor shape.
“That bear was in fairly poor body condition,” Hammer said. “It
was an older bear. It had broken teeth. Its body fat was around 15
percent. The average for this time of year should be 31 percent.”
Hammer said that while the bear was acting normally, biologists
opted to capture the animal and euthanize it because of its
condition, age and proximity to populated areas. The bear’s exact
age was not known.
“We just didn’t feel we should move it anywhere because he was
old and in poor condition,” Hammer said. “The investigation into the
incident showed that the bear was acting defensively — not
predaciously. There was no reason to conduct a necropsy.”
Hammer said the encounter occurred in an area of dense willows
near the confluence of the South Fork of the Shoshone River with
Buffalo Bill Reservoir.
The area has become an unauthorized dumping ground for carcasses.
“One of the problems was, people are dumping deer carcasses in
that general area,” Hammer said. “He was grabbing those carcasses
and dragging them into the willows. People need to take their
carcasses into the local landfill. It’s better than dumping them on
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