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Grizzly bear found dead near Yellowstone

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A grizzly bear that appears to have been killed has been found near Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, prompting an investigation from federal officials.

Photographer Amy Gerber spotted the bear early Monday morning along the North Fork Highway near the town of Cody, and her photo of the dead animal went viral on Facebook. One post received more than 1,000 shares and hundreds of comments, mainly from people outraged that the bear had been killed. Photos of the bear show bloody and disfigured faces.

A representative for the US Fish and Wildlife Service confirmed to CBS News that they are investigating the incident, saying “due to the nature of the ongoing investigation we are unable to comment further at this time.”

According to the Cowboy State Daily, a bear was presumed to have been hit by a car in the area, but Gerber told the local publication that he believed the bear had been shot.

“It was a big bear,” he said. “I’m guessing at least 500 pounds. If it had been hit by a car, especially the way cars are made these days, there would have been car parts all over the highway.”

As of 2018, grizzly bears in the Yellowstone area are protected under the Endangered Species Act, according to the National Parks Service. The animal has made a recovery in the region — from about 136 in 1975 to about 1,063 in 2021. There is currently a conservation strategy in the area to remove them from the threatened species list

The National Parks Service urges people visiting Yellowstone to expect bear encounters. People should stay at least 100 yards away from bears and should not approach them to take photos and should never feed them.

When a bear approaches, drivers should honk and drive away. If a bear approaches you while you’re hiking, don’t “play dead,” run, yell, or make sudden movements. Instead, avoid startling the bear and try to keep distance between yourself and the bear. It is recommended to carry bear spray in the area.

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Caitlin O’Kane


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