Sunday, August 28, 2011

Autopsy planned for dead Yellowstone hiker

nvestigators have been searching a swath of Yellowstone National Park by air and foot as they try to determine whether a man whose body was found on a backcountry trail was the victim of a grizzly bear attack.
Rangers and wildlife biologists hoping to find clues as to how the man died continued to comb a central portion of the park Saturday on foot. He was found a day earlier by two hikers on Mary Mountain Trail, which runs northeast of the iconic Old Faithful geyser.
Investigators found grizzly bear tracks and scat near the man, but were not immediately sure whether the grizzly caused the man's death or disturbed his body after he died.
"Bears are opportunistic when it comes to food sources," Yellowstone spokesman Al Nash said. "It's very clear that there was a bear around the victim's body. What we don't know is whether this was a bear attack, or whether the bear came upon this man's body after he died."
An aerial search of the area Saturday turned up no bear activity.
Authorities say the man likely died Wednesday or Thursday. Park officials did not plan to name the hiker — a man in his 60s from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan — until Sunday, pending family notification.More...

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