25 Jun 2010, 12:35am
Latest Wildlife News
by admin

Feds won’t discuss fatal bear mauling near Yellowstone

by Dave Smith, Examiner.com, June 23, 2010 [here]

In response to a June 23 email request for information about the fatal bear mauling of Erwin Evert near Yellowstone Park on June 17, Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team leader Chuck Schwartz said, “it is inappropriate for me to discuss the details of this incident until the investigation is complete.”

Evert was killed by a 400 pound male grizzly that had just been trapped, drugged, and released on U.S. Forest Service land about 10 miles from the East Entrance of Yellowstone National Park. The incident occurred in the Kitty Creek drainage of the Shoshone National Forest. Erwin Evert and other people had cabins in the area. There were lodges and a Boy Scout camp nearby. Mainstream articles about the incident didn’t make it clear whether or not people had been given sufficient warning the bear study team was working in the area.

The Billings Gazette reported that “Some cabin owners have said they were unaware of research work being done in the area.”

But Chris Servheen, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service grizzly bear recovery coordinator, told the Billings Gazette “it would be impossible” to enter the area where the bears were captured and tranquilized without noticing warning signs.

Servheen and Schwartz were asked:

“1. Was the area closed, or were people simply warned to be cautious due to the study team working in the area? What, exactly, did the signs say?
2.Did cabin owners along Kitty Creek receive written notification that bears were being trapped in the area?
2a. If cabin owners received written notification about the trapping, what, exactly, were they told?
3. Were lodges and other commercial ventures in the area notified about the bear trapping in advance, and exactly what were they told?.
4. Was the boy scout camp notified in advance?
5. How many days did the study team spend in the Kitty Creek area?
6.Were (Aldrich-type) foot snares used?
7.How often are the snares checked, and do you have any sort of electronic device that alerts the study team when a bear is captured?
8. How long are bears observed as they recover from being tranquilized?
9. Do people working in the field for the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team get written guidelines with protocol for warning the public about grizzly research activities?”

Shoshone National Forest officials said Dave Ozman with the USGS was handling the Kitty Creek fatality. Mr. Ozman has not returned calls.

Note: Negligence and liability are complicated matters. The people involved better lawyer-up if they haven’t already. The Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team investigating themselves is not going to be the last word in this case, no matter what their “findings” turn out to be.

See also: Grizzly shot from helicopter [here]

Deadly Government Bears [here]



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