Officials Confirm Yellowstone Hiker Killed By Grizzly

Aug 29, 2011

On Friday morning, two hikers found the body of 59-year-old Michigan man, John Wallace, on the 21-mile Mary Mountain Trail. Officials suspect that Wallace went hiking either Wednesday or Thursday based on evidence that he had set up camp near the trail.

Park Spokesman Al Nash says officials have combed the scene of the incident for forensic information, and an autopsy was performed yesterday afternoon.

"Between the information that we were able to gather on site, coupled with the medical examiners results, we confirmed, indeed that Mr. Wallace was attacked by a bear and that he died as a result of injuries from a bear attack," says Nash.

Nash says the area where this week's incident occurred is known for wildlife viewing, including grizzlies, and he says at this point it's not possible to determine which bear was involved - or whether the killing was of a predatory or defensive nature.

In July, Brian Matayoshi from California was killed by a grizzly after he and his wife encountered the mother bear and her cubs.

2011 is the first year bear fatalities have occurred in the park since 1986.