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Yellowstone Bear Attacks, Mauls, and Kills

Yellowstone bear attacks, mauls, and kills one man and injures two near Soda Butte, Montana on Thursday, July 29, 2010.  Montana's KRTV reported that a bear or bears attacked campers sleeping in tents in the early hours of Thursday near Cook City.  Officials report that the victims of the attack were not in the camping same proximity within the Soda Butte Campground and that other campers fled to the safety of their vehicles in a desperate attempt to evade what witnesses describe as "a bear on a rampage" that ripped through tents. 

The attacks occurred between midnight and 2:00 a.m. despite the camper's vigiliance regarding food and garbage handling.   Authorities from Montana's Fish, Wildlife and Parks suspect that a single black or grizzly bear is responsible for the attacks though they are uncertain.  Ron Aasheim, spokesman for Montana's Fish, Wildlife, and Parks stated: "We don't know if it was one bear, two bears, a black bear, or a grizzly bear.  Obviously, the bear's gone now.  Will it come back tonight?  That's the question."  Officials have set traps and conducted an investigation to find bear hair, saliva, and droppings, as well as measuring bite wounds of victims, to exact the number of bears involved in the attacks.

Officials have not disclosed the names of the victims of the bear attack but revealed three 911 calls were made to Park County dispatchers reporting bear bites and danger.  One man was dragged out of his tent by the hear and found dead at the western portion of the campground.  Another victim, a female, has been hospitalized in a nearby Cody, Wyoming hospital for severe lacerations to her arms due to mauling.   A third victim, a male, was attacked on his calf and was able to drive to the hospital.  The surviving victims are in stable condition and being treated for non-life threatening injuries resulting from the horrific incident.

The Soda Butte Campground has been shut down as a precautionary measure and campers were evacuated to local hotels at approximately 4:20 a.m. when the dead victim was discovered.

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