Grizzly Bear Mauls Three, Kills One Near Yellowstone

Ontario woman survives by playing dead during rampage by grizzly sow and three cubs

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Bad news, bears: A bear or bears attacked campers near Yellowstone in Cooke City, Montana in the early hours of Wednesday, killing one camper and injuring two others. The bear wandered into the Soda Butte campsite and attacked three separate tents, biting and injuring a teen and a Canadian woman on the arms and legs, and killing another solo camper. The nature of the deceased victim’s wounds hasn’t been revealed yet.

UPDATE: Rangers believe they’ve caught the culprit—a mother grizzly with three cubs. Two of the three cubs have been captured as well. The 300-400-lb. female grizzly will be euthanized, and the cubs will not be released back into the wild, since rangers speculate they may have been taught predatory behavior by their mother. Current evidence points to a rare predatory attack, where the mother actually targeted campers. “She basically targeted the three people and went after them,” Fish, Wildlife and Parks Warden Capt. Sam Sheppard told the Billings Gazette.

This is the most overt attack near Yellowstone in almost 30 years. Camper Deb Freele, of Ontario, Canada, survived by playing dead, and shared her story on today’s Early Show on CBS.

Rangers have closed the popular campground and continue to investigate the incident. We’ll provide updates as they happen.

—Ted Alvarez

via CBS and Billings Gazette