Black bear sniffing dumpster

A black bear sniffs a dumpster in Yellowstone National Park.

Yellowstone National Park officials said they’ve killed two black bears this year and are looking for a third that may have lost its fear of people and become dangerous.

All three bears showed bold behaviors, weren’t scared of people and had acquired a taste for human food, according to a park news release.

The park release said since last week a black bear has caused property damage to tents and cars while looking for human food at the Indian Creek Campground. If the bear returns, campground mangers will take appropriate actions based on the circumstances, including hazing or removal, the release said.

One black bear was killed in June for biting a tent with people inside it along Little Cottonwood Creek, the release said. The bear bruised a woman’s thigh, but didn’t pierce her skin.

Earlier this month, the release said, officials killed a bear at a backcountry campsite along the Lamar River Trail after it ate 10 pounds of human food and returned the following evening. The bear refused to leave the campsite despite attempts to haze it away.

The release said the park doesn’t typically relocate bears because it could be a danger to people anywhere in the park. It also said adult bears could easily return to the original area it was taken from and surrounding states don’t want bears that have eaten human food.

These incidents, the release said, are an unfortunate reminder that human carelessness could result in a bear’s death. Visitors are reminded to stay at least 100 yards away from bears and properly store food and scented items.

Freddy Monares can be reached at or 406-582-2630. Follow him on Twitter @TGIFreddy.


Freddy Monares covers politics and county government for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

Support quality local journalism. Become a subscriber.

Subscribers get full, survey-free access to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle's award-winning coverage both on our website and in our e-edition, a digital replica of the print edition.