Yellowstone grizzly put down after hiker killed

There are more than 500 grizzly bears in Yellowstone National Park.

Story highlights

  • The bear's twin female cubs will be placed at the Toledo Zoo sometime this fall
  • Female grizzly was identified and euthanized on Thursday
  • The victim was found in a popular off-trail area in Yellowstone National Park

(CNN)A grizzly bear was euthanized Thursday after an autopsy of a hiker confirmed that the bear killed him in Yellowstone National Park last week.

Autopsy results confirmed that Lance Crosby, 63, died as a result of traumatic injuries sustained from a grizzly bear attack, park officials said. Additional evidence also pointed to the female bear as his attacker, they said.
Two twin female cubs captured with her will be transferred to the Toledo Zoo sometime this fall, the zoo announced Friday. The cubs, which weigh around 50 pounds right now, are less than a year old. Wildlife officials said they're too young to survive in the wild without their mother. An adult female grizzly can weigh up to 500 pounds.
    "An important fact in the decision to euthanize the bear was that a significant portion of the (hiker's) body was consumed and cached with the intent to return for further feeding," the park said in a media statement. "Normal defensive attacks by female bears defending their young do not involve consumption of the victim's body."
    The grizzly was captured shortly after park rangers found Crosby's body on August 7. A DNA analysis confirmed her hair was found near the body.
    The park detailed additional evidence as well: The adult bear and two cubs were at the attack site when park rangers found Crosby's body, a female bear tracks and her cubs' tracks were found near the body, and puncture wounds on the victim were consistent with the captured female grizzly's bite.
    "As managers of Yellowstone National Park, we balance the preservation of park resources with public safety," said Yellowstone National Park Superintendent Dan Wenk. "Our decision takes into account the facts of the case, the goals of the bear management program and the long-term viability of the grizzly bear population as a whole, rather than an individual bear."