A black bear that refused to leave a Yellowstone National Park campground after getting a taste of human food there was killed by park staff Saturday (June 22), the National Park Service said.
At about 3:30 p.m. that day, the 142-pound adult male black bear entered the Canyon Campground and came within 6 feet of a man and woman eating, the Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported.
The campers backed off, and the bear ate some of the food off their table. It then went through their garbage and pawed at their tent.
As the bear left their campsite, it checked out tents, fire pits and bear-proof trash bins and food-storage boxes at other campsites.
Rangers hazed the bear out of the campground, but it returned later in the day. Out of a concern for safety, the bear was shot and killed later that night.
Park spokesman Dan Hottle said the situation was unusual because typically rangers will try to haze the bear away from an area several times. Usually, the bears take a sniff and move on, he said.
“We knew he wasn’t leaving,” said Hottle. “We had quite a few rangers on the scene and our bear management folks. For the sake of our rangers and a packed campground, we had to get him out of there.”
Hottle said this was the first reported bear encounter of the summer season in Yellowstone.