There are several physical ailments that can cause a grizzly bear to act abnormally, and the results of the necropsy (which has been completed) may yield some clues. But one big factor has been ruled out: the mother grizzly was not starving. Despite earlier reports from the field that she was of normal size (between 300 and 400 pounds), the necropsy revealed that she was only 221 pounds, which is pretty light. Still, she was healthy and not malnourished, so sheer hunger has been pretty much ruled out as a factor for the attacks by the experts. In addition, there appears to have been plenty of food in the region for her and her cubs, who were small and malnourished.
The Soda Butte Campground remains closed, though two other campground in the area have been reopened.
To recap: A grizzly sow weighing over 300 pounds and her three cubs went to the Soda Butte Campground early Wednesday morning, located seven miles east of the Yellowstone National Park East Entrance past Cooke City, and tore apart a tent containing Kevin Kummer, 48, of Grand Rapids. He was killed in the tent; his body was dragged 25 feet or so and then partially eaten by at least one griz. After that she and the cubs went after two other tents, biting Deb Freele of London, Ontario to the point where she required surgery to repaid the broken bones in her arms; Ronald Singer of Alamosa, Col. was bitten on the calf before fighting off the griz. (Our full coverage can be found in the links at the end of the article.)
The above photo shows the grizzly sow before she was euthanized. Courtesy Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department.
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