black bear
A black bear roams near the Lamar Valley in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, June 24, 2011. Black bear are commonly sighted near the tree line. Reuters/Jim Urquhart

A female grizzly bear killed an experienced Montana hiker at Yellowstone National Park, the US National Park Service said. Although the exact cause of the victim’s death is yet to be determined, probers said the man had defensive wounds on his forearms.

Pending an autopsy on Monday and review of additional evidence, the park would not release the official cause of the man’s death, reports The Telegraph. The victim was also a long-term seasonal employee of Medcor, a company that operates urgent care clinics in Yellowstone, and had lived in the park for five seasons, adds CNN.

Park officials said that the man’s partially consumed and covered body was found on Friday afternoon at a popular off-trail area near Lake Village. They withheld identifying the victim until his relatives are informed of his fate.

The victim was reported missing on Friday morning when he did not show up for work. Following the discovery of his body that night, park rangers and wildlife biologists collected evidence for bear DNA recovery. However, heavy rainfall on Saturday hampered recovery of additional evidence.

On the same night, Yellowstone set up bear traps and closed the Elephant Back Loop Trail to the public until further notice. Bears that are trapped and identified as involved in the attack would be culled. Besides the female adult grizzly, her cub is also suspected of being the man’s attackers.

Despite possible failure to fully determine the circumstances of the most recent incident of bear attack in the national park, Yellowstone will not risk public safety, said Dan Wenk, superintendent of the park.

The park has about 674 to 839 grizzly bears. Visitors are advised to stay 100 yards from these animals which have killed four people from 2010 through 2014.

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