Thursday, June 02, 2016


Species: Grizzly Bear
Age estimate: Yearling
Location: Oldman Lake, Glacier Park
1400 S. 19th Street Bozeman, MT 59718
Necropsy Findings _____________________________________________________________________________________


The carcass is that of yearling male grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) from Oldman Lake, Glacier National Park. This cub was caught in a snare on July 28. He was chemically immobilized with Telazol, and recovered uneventfully. On 8/17/09, the sow had to be humanely dispatched because she posed a threat to human safety. This male cub and his sibling were both darted with Telazol. When field personnel approached this cub, they determined that he was not breathing sufficiently but still had detectable heart beat. The biologist quickly began resuscitation efforts, however the cub did not respond and died shortly thereafter.

Gross Necropsy Findings:

The dart wound was found ventrally on the right side of the neck, just cranial to the humerus. Upon removal of the hide, a large amount of clotted subcutaneous blood was found surrounding the dart wound, up to the right shoulder, and extending down the right side of the chest, the ventral aspect of the neck, and down the right front leg. Further dissection revealed still more clotted blood between tissue planes and muscle layers in all these areas and extending down to the body wall. The source of the blood was the right jugular vein. The clot could not be completely separated from the vein at the site of the laceration. Hematoma was found within the tunica adventitia (thin outermost layer) of the vein.

Lab Accession Number: 185647 Field Number:
Seizure Tag Number:
Date Seized:
Date disposed: save carcass

No hemorrhage or petechial were found on the mucous membranes, sclera of the eye, or the heart. The heart and lungs appeared normal, however the left ventricle was completely void of blood. A small amount of clotted blood was found in the right ventricle. No free blood was found in the chest cavity. The liver was pale grey in color, however liver structure was apparently normal. The spleen was contracted and also completely void of blood. The gastrointestinal tract appeared normal. The kidneys also appeared normal and were surrounded by a moderate amount of fat. Skeletal muscle was slightly pale. No free blood was found in the abdominal cavity.


Necropsy findings indicate that the bear cub died of acute hemorrhage. The finding of large amounts of clotted blood, along with evidence of the body’s response to acute blood loss (empty heart, pale grey liver, contracted spleen) support this diagnosis. Although the initial wound created by the dart was close to the jugular vein, it did not appear to hit it directly. Two possibilities exist that may have resulted in the laceration of the jugular vein. First, because of its proximity to the right humerus, the dart would have been likely to move around as the bear walked. This motion may have been what allowed the sharp dart tip to lacerate the jugular vein. Another possibility to consider is that the force of the drug being expelled from the dart under pressure tore the jugular vein.
Jennifer Ramsey D.V.M., M.P.V.M Wildlife Veterinarian

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

Here's the back story.

Two bears killed in Glacier National Park

The Associated PressBy The Associated Press 
on August 19, 2009 at 3:45 AM, updated October 13, 2009 at 12:10 AM

Jerry Ruth of Clark, Wyo., uses hand gestures last month to describe how a grizzly bear attacked him near his home after he surprised the bear and her three cubs. Ruth, a retired police officer, grabbed a pistol he was carrying, fired three shots and killed the bear. 

WEST GLACIER, Mont. -- A disturbingly friendly grizzly bear that had boldly wandered through campgrounds and sniffed food and around the edges of tents has been killed after Glacier National Park officials determined the animal had become too much of a threat to humans.
One of her two yearling cubs died after being tranquilized. The other will be moved to the Bronx Zoo.
Park rangers shot the 17-year-old grizzly Monday about 300 yards from the Oldman Lake Campground, which was occupied. An hour later, the yearling cubs were hit with tranquilizer darts, but one died. Rangers had attempted to resuscitate the yearling by performing mouth-to-nose breathing.
"The unintended death of this yearling grizzly is a very unfortunate outcome of a very difficult operation," Glacier Superintendent Chas Cartwright said Tuesday. "The National Park Service will conduct a thorough review of the cause of death of the yearling, but we are also relieved to have captured the other yearling."
The adult female had a long history of interaction with people, and had never been too aggressive.
"Instead of avoiding people, it's almost like she's attracted to them," said Jack Potter, Glacier's chief of science and natural resources.
The bear used park trails and shadowed hikers. She could not be dissuaded from entering a campground by people yelling and waving their arms.
Potter said the decision to kill the bear was difficult, but park officials couldn't afford to wait until something really bad happened.
"Some people seem to want us to wait until there's a body before we act," he told the Missoulian. "Well, we don't work that way."
Over the years, bear managers have tried numerous ways to get the bear to stay away from people. But pepper spray, rubber bullets, specially trained dogs and other hazing efforts mostly failed. The bear did lay low in 2007 and 2008, but returned this summer and started following people around, Potter said.
This year, three separate incidents had been documented that could be classified as "repeatedly and purposefully approaching humans in a non-defensive situation," the park said.
The bear was demonstrating the same behavior Monday when she was shot and killed while approaching Oldman Lake campground, park officials said.
"Given the possibility that her offspring had learned this type of overly-familiar behavior and the diminished chance of their survival, we simply could not leave the yearlings in the wild," Cartwright said.

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