In August Lance Crosby was hiking in Yellowstone National Park alone and without bear spray when he was killed by a grizzly bear named Blaze.
After the incident, park officials announced their decision to euthanize the sow. Some 6000 comments poured into Yellowstone’s Facebook page criticising the decision, and a petition was circulated saying, ‘Blaze and her cubs do not deserve to be killed because someone didn't take necessary steps to avoid a confrontation.’ The park says it never planned to euthanize Blaze’s cubs, and the park would instead send them to the Toledo Zoo in Ohio.
Park officials say they have received numerous emails about the decision, some including thinly veiled threats. Officials say the focus should be on population management and not on individual bears. ‘If those same 50,000-plus people [who signed the petition] had all donated $20 to preserve bear habitat with conservation easements, it would have protected the whole bear population for generations in the future,’ Yellowstone’s head bear management biologist said. Others say the individual bears are ‘ambassadors for their species, and they're catalysts for a wider grizzly bear conversation outside the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.’ Read more: billingsgazette.com