A black bear forages for berries in September outside Silver Gate.

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Rangers killed a black bear in Yellowstone National Park after it bit a camper last week, park officials announced Wednesday.

A female black bear entered a backcountry site a few miles from the Hellroaring Trailhead where five backpackers were camped on the evening of July 6.

The bear bit a woman on the arm and head and nipped at a child’s right hand. The woman and child were sitting outside their tents at the time. The bear then started eating the group’s food, which hadn’t yet been hung. Three adults and two children were staying at the site.

The woman suffered bruises and minor abrasions.

When rangers arrived, the bear was still eating the group’s food. Because it entered an occupied campsite, bit a person and ate human food, it had to be killed, according to a news release. Animals in the park that become dependent on human food may become more aggressive, the release said.

Kerry Gunther, a Yellowstone bear management biologist, said people have an approximately 1-in-850,000 chance of being injured by a black bear in Yellowstone during an overnight stay. These injuries occur in the park once every seven years, according to the park’s website.

However, backcountry campers should carry bear spray and hang food at all times except when cooking or eating, Gunther said.

Last summer, a Yellowstone black bear that rangers suspected ate human food bit a woman through her tent, bruising her thigh. It was killed after the incident.

Later that summer, another black bear was caught eating 10 pounds of food that campers left unattended while they packed up their gear. Despite relocation efforts, the bear was also killed.

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Helena Dore can be reached at hdore@dailychronicle.com or at 582-2628.

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