A scary story out of Yellowstone National Park. Apparently, a bear or some bears went through a campsite and killed a man and injured two other campers. You can read the entire story here on the LA Times’ outposts blog:
What I find particularly disturning are two things. One, this was an attack in an established campsite, not in some backcountry locale where bear danger is considered a bit higher.
Second, is this quote:
“This is not typical bear behavior. It’s odd. It’s not normal,” said Ron Aasheim, Fish, Wildlife & Parks spokesman.
There have been theories on why some animal attacks have become more common. Human encroachment, for one. That wouldn’t seem to be an issue here.
Others cite climate change, as warmer temperatures change floral growing patterns that adversely affect bears’ food supplies, forcing them to look toward food sources closer to where humans are. Desperate animals do desperate things, the thinking goes.
I don’t know if any of that explains what happened Wednesday, but it is worth watching. The campers who were attacked were said to have taken every proper precaution to prevent bears from getting in their food or otherwise arousing the bears’ curiosity.
Yellowstone is a very popular area nationwide, including Oklahoma. Bear attacks are really rare. But as the investigation of this attack unfolds, it will be interesting to see if researchers find some new, more dangerous behavior pattern in Yellowstone’s bear population.