List of fatal bear attacks in North America

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Fatal bear attacks in North America have occurred in a variety of settings. There have been several in the bears' wilderness habitats involving hikers, hunters, and campers. Brown bear incidents have occurred in their native range spanning Alaska, Northern and Western Canada, and portions of the Rocky Mountains in the United States. The locations of black bear wilderness fatal attacks reflect their wider range: all Canadian Provinces except the Atlantic Provinces and several major mountainous areas in the United States.

Bears held captive by animal trainers, in zoos, carnivals, or kept as pets have been responsible for several attacks. There have also been unusual cases in which a person entered a bear's cage, and was mauled.

According to wildlife experts, bear attacks are rare.[1][2][3] Attacks are for predatory, territorial, or protective reasons.[4] Most wilderness attacks have occurred when there was only one to two persons in the vicinity.[5][6]

In this list three species of bear are recognized: the Brown Bear (Ursus arctos), the American Black Bear (Ursus americanus), and the Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus).

Bear danger area closure sign of the type used at Denali National Park

2010s[edit]

Black bear[edit]

Name, age, gender Date Type Location Description
Darsh Patel, 22, male September 21, 2014 Wild near West Milford, New Jersey Patel was hiking with four friends in Apshawa Preserve when a bear started following them. The hikers ran in different directions, and found that Patel was missing when they regrouped. Authorities found Patel's body after searching for two hours. A black bear found in the vicinity was euthanized.[7] According to the State Department of Environmental Protection, the last fatal bear attack in New Jersey was in 1852.[7]
Lorna Weafer, 36, female May 7, 2014 Wild near Fort McMurray, Alberta Weafer, a Suncor worker was attacked at the remote North Steepbank oil sands mine site while walking back to work after a trip to the washroom. Efforts by co-workers to scare off the bear were unsuccessful. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police shot and killed the bear upon arrival. A preliminary investigation determined that the attack was predatory.[8]
Robert Weaver, 64, male June 6, 2013 Wild George Lake near Delta Junction, Alaska Weaver was attacked by a black bear while walking back to his cabin on George Lake, according to his wife, who was able to flee inside the cabin and was uninjured. A 230 lb (104.3 kg) adult male black bear on the scene was killed by troopers and found to have some of Weaver's remains in his stomach.[9]
Lana Hollingsworth, 61, female July 25, 2011 Wild Pinetop-Lakeside, Arizona Hollingsworth was attacked by a 250 lb (113.4 kg) black bear while walking her dog at a country club. Nearly a month later and after eleven surgeries, she died from a massive brain hemorrhage, which doctors believe was a result of the attack. The bear was tracked, shot and killed.[10]
Bernice Adolph, 72, female June 2011 Wild near Lillooet, British Columbia Adolph's remains were found by police dogs after she was reported missing. She was an elder in the Xaxli'p First Nation. There was evidence that bears fed on Adolph's remains, and tried to enter her house. An autopsy confirmed that she died from a bear attack. Five suspected bears were killed by conservation officers, and DNA tests confirmed that one of the dead bears killed Adolph.[11]
Brent Kandra, 24, male August 19, 2010 Captive Columbia Station, Ohio Kandra was a bear caretaker on property that kept exotic pets. The bear was out of its cage for feeding. Prior to the attack, the property's owner had his license to exhibit animals revoked, but was still allowed to keep the animals on his property.[12]

Brown bear[edit]

Name, age, gender Date Type Location Description
Claudia Huber, 42, female October 18, 2014 Wild near Johnsons Crossing, Yukon Huber's husband encountered a bear outside of his house. When he went inside to retrieve a rifle, the bear came into the house through a window. After Huber and her spouse fled the house, the bear pursued and killed Huber. Huber's husband shot the bear dead.[13]
Ken Novotny, 53, male September 17, 2014 Wild near Norman Wells, Northwest Territories While on a hunting trip near Normal Wells, Novotny was charged and struck by a bear. Friends reported Novotny had just killed a moose and was prepping his prize when the bear "came out of nowhere." He died on the scene. Authorities later found and killed the bear responsible for his death.[14]
Adam Thomas Stewart, 31, male September, 2014 Wild Bridger-Teton National Forest, Wyoming Stewart was conducting research alone in the Bridger-Teton National Forest in northwest Wyoming. After he failed to return, a search found his body.[15] The coroner suspects it was a grizzly bear, but the species hasn't officially been determined.
Rick Cross, 54, male September 7, 2014 Wild Kananaskis Country, Alberta Cross, a hunter, was killed by a mother bear when he accidentally got between her and her cubs. His body was found near his backpack. RCMP said it appeared he wandered into the area where the mother and cub were feeding on a dead deer.[16]
Richard White, 49, male August 24, 2012 Wild Denali National Park, Alaska White was backpacking alone along the Toklat River. After hikers found an abandoned backpack and torn clothing, rangers investigated and found a male grizzly bear sitting on White's remains. The bear was shot and killed by an Alaska State Trooper. A necropsy of the bear and photographs recovered from White's camera confirmed the attack.[17]

The photographs in White's camera showed that he was taking photos of the bear in a span of eight minutes from 50 yards (46 m) to 100 yards (91 m).[18] It was the first fatal bear attack recorded in Denali National Park.[17]

Tomas Puerta, 54, male October, 2012 Wild Chichagof Island, Alaska After passers-by spotted an unattended skiff, they investigated and encountered a grizzly bear sow and two cubs. Alaska State troopers and Sitka Mountain rescue personnel then found evidence of a campsite and fire on the beach. There was evidence of a struggle, and upon following a trail of disturbed vegetation, they found Puerta's body, cached and partially eaten.[19]
John Wallace, 59, male August 24, 2011 Wild Yellowstone National Park Wallace's remains were found by hikers on the Mary Mountain Trail, northeast of Old Faithful.[20] Wallace was hiking alone.[21] An autopsy showed that Wallace died from a bear attack.[21] According to a report released by Yellowstone rangers, park officials attempted to give Wallace a lecture about bear safety, but he was not interested, calling himself a "grizzly bear expert".[22]

DNA evidence later determined that the sow that killed Brian Matayoshi the month before was in the vicinity of Wallace's corpse, though it was not proved that this bear killed Wallace. The bear was killed by park officials.[23] Evidence showed that Wallace was attacked after sitting down on a log to eat a snack and the attack was predatory, rather than defensive.[23][24]

Brian Matayoshi, 57, male July 6, 2011 Wild Yellowstone National Park Matayoshi and his wife were hiking the Wapiti Lake Trail, and came upon a mother grizzly bear in an open meadow. The couple began to walk away, and the bear charged. After attempting to run away, Matayoshi was fatally bitten and clawed. Matayoshi's wife hid behind a tree, was lifted from the ground by the bear, and dropped. She played dead, and the bear left the area. She was not injured.[25][26]

An initial investigation by the National Park Service found the bear's actions were defensive against a perceived threat to her cubs. Since the attack was not predatory and the bear had no known violent history towards humans, no immediate action was taken towards the bear, although it was later euthanized after it was found to be at the site of another fatal attack later that summer.[23][25][26] A later investigation determined that the couple running from the bear was a mistake, and the fatal attack was a "one in 3 million occurrence".[27]

Kevin Kammer, 48, male July 28, 2010 Wild Gallatin National Forest, Montana Kammer was in his tent at Soda Butte Campground when a mother bear attacked and dragged him 25 feet (7.6 m) away. Two other campers in separate campsites were also attacked: a teenager was bitten in the leg, and a woman was bitten in the arm and leg. The bear was caught in a trap set at the campground using pieces of a culvert and Kammer's tent.[28] Later, the bear was euthanized, and her cubs were sent to ZooMontana.[29] The mother bear's unusual predatory behavior was noted by authorities.[29]
Erwin Frank Evert, 70, male June 17, 2010 Wild Shoshone National Forest, Wyoming Evert, a field botanist, was mauled by a grizzly bear while hiking in the Kitty Creek Drainage area of the Shoshone National Forest, just east of Yellowstone National Park. The bear was trapped and tranquilized earlier in the day by a Grizzly Bear research team. Two days after the attack, the bear was shot and killed from a helicopter by wildlife officials.[30]

Initially it was reported that Evert ignored posted warnings to avoid the area due to the potential danger involved with the bear research.[30] However, the sheriff's deputy who recovered the body and members of Evert's family stated that the warning signs were no longer present.[31] A report released the following month confirmed that the warning signs were removed, though it also asserted that Evert knew there was a bear research study being conducted in the area.[32] Evert's wife filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the federal government, which was dismissed by district court judge Nancy D. Freudenthal.[33][34]

2000s[edit]

Black bear[edit]

Name, age, gender Date Type Location Description
Kelly Ann Walz, 37, female October 4, 2009 Captive Ross Township, Pennsylvania Walz, whose husband had an expired license to keep exotic animals, was attacked while cleaning her pet bear's cage. She tried to distract the bear by throwing dog food to the opposite end of the cage. A neighbor shot and killed the bear.[35]
Donna Munson, 74, female August 6, 2009 Wild Ouray, Colorado Munson had been feeding bears for a decade, and was repeatedly warned by wildlife officials. After a bear was injured in a fight with an older and bigger bear, Munson left food out to help the injured bear. The older bear came back to Munson's property, forced its way past a wire fence, and mauled Munson. Later, wildlife officials killed two bears on Munson's property. One of the bears had a necropsy which revealed evidence that it consumed Munson.[36][37]
Cecile Lavoie, 70, female May 30, 2008 Wild Near La Sarre, Quebec After Lavoie didn't return to her cabin following a solo fishing outing, her husband went looking for her. He found a bear dragging her body into the woods.[38]
Robin Kochorek, 31, female July 20, 2007 Wild Panorama Mountain Resort, British Columbia Kochorek was reported missing after mountain biking. A black bear was found near her corpse the morning after her disappearance. The bear was shot on sight by The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).[39]
Samuel Evan Ives, 11, male June 17, 2007 Wild Uinta National Forest, Utah Ives was grabbed from a family tent in American Fork Canyon, and mauled. State wildlife officials killed the bear, which had entered the campsite the night before.[40] Ives' family sued the U.S. Forest Service because there was no warning about the bear's presence.[41][42] A judge awarded the family $1.95 million.[43] It was the first known fatal black bear attack in Utah.[42]
Elora Petrasek, 6, female April 13, 2006 Wild Cherokee National Forest, Tennessee A bear attacked the family at a waterfall near a campground. Petrasek's mother and brother were also injured. The bear was trapped and killed, and an unrelated bear was mistakenly killed.[44][45][46]
Jacqueline Perry, 30, female September 6, 2005 Wild Missinaibi Lake Provincial Park, Ontario Perry was killed in an attack at a remote campsite.[47] Her husband was seriously injured trying to protect her with a swiss army knife, and later was given a Star of Courage award from Governor General Michaëlle Jean.[48] Ministry of Natural Resources staff shot and killed the bear near the area where the fatal attack occurred.[49]
Harvey Robinson, 69, male August 26, 2005 Wild Selkirk, Manitoba Robinson was fatally mauled while picking plums north of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Robinson's family were investigating the area with an RCMP officer later that day, and were also attacked. The officer shot and killed the bear.[50]
Merlyn Carter, 71, male June 14, 2005 Wild 270 kilometres southeast of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories Carter was found dead in the main cabin of his fishing camp. Carter's son came to the cabin the day after the attack, and shot and killed the bear.[51]
Maurice Malenfant, 77, male September 29, 2002 Wild Saint-Zénon-du-Lac-Humqui, Quebec Malenfant was attacked in his campsite in the Gaspé region of Quebec.[52][53]
Christopher Bayduza, 31, male September 1, 2002 Wild near Fort Nelson, British Columbia After going for a walk behind a trailer, Bayduza was attacked at a remote oil rigging site in northeastern British Columbia.[54][55]
Ester Schwimmer, 5 months, female August 19, 2002 Wild Fallsburg, New York A bear knocked Schwimmer from her stroller, which was near the porch of her family's vacation home. The bear carried the infant in its mouth to the woods. Schwimmer died of neck and head injuries.[56]
Adelia Maestras Trujillo, 93, female August 18, 2001 Wild Mora, New Mexico A bear broke through a glass pane to gain entry into Trujillo's house and killed her. Trujillo's body was found in her kitchen. The bear was shot at .5 miles (0.80 km) from the house.[57]
Kyle Harry, 18, male June 3, 2001 Wild 25 km. east of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories Harry was attacked while with a group at a rural campsite 25 kilometres (16 mi) east of Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories, Canada.[58]
Mary Beth Miller, 24, female July 2, 2000 Wild near Valcartier, Quebec Miller was attacked while on a biathlon training run in a wooded area on a military base. The bear was trapped and killed four days later.[1][59]
Glenda Ann Bradley, 50, female May 21, 2000 Wild Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee Bradley was attacked and partially consumed by a mother bear and a cub, 1.5 miles (2.4 km) upstream from Elkmont, Tennessee. It was the first fatal bear attack in a southeastern U.S. National Park. While hovering over Bradley's corpse, the bears were shot and killed by park rangers.[1][60]

Brown bear[edit]

Name, age, gender Date Type Location Description
Robert Wagner, 48, male October 1, 2008 Wild near Sundre, Alberta Wagner was reported missing after not returning from a hunting trip. His body was found less than 1-kilometre (0.62 mi) from his parked truck. An autopsy revealed that he had been killed by a grizzly bear, which was shot by wildlife officers.[61][62]
Stephan Miller, 39, male April 22, 2008 Captive Big Bear Lake, California A bear trained to perform in movies turned on its handler, fatally biting him in the neck. Prior to the attack, the bear was featured in the movie Semi-Pro. Pepper Spray was used to subdue the bear.[63][64]
Don Peters, 51, male November 25, 2007 Wild near Sundre, Alberta Peters' body was found 200 metres (660 ft) from his parked truck. He was on a hunting trip. An autopsy confirmed that he died due to a grizzly bear attack. The bear that attacked Peters was captured and killed the following April.[65][66]
Jean-Francois Pagé, 28, male April 28, 2006 Wild near Ross River, Yukon Pagé was mauled while staking mineral claims. He unknowingly walked right past a bear den containing a sow and two cubs.[67]
Arthur Louie, 60, male September 20, 2005 Wild near The Bowron River, British Columbia A female and two cubs attacked Louie on a remote forestry road. He was walking back to his gold mining camp after his car broke down.[68][69]
Rich Huffman, 61, male
Kathy Huffman, 58, female
June 23, 2005 Wild Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska The Huffmans were attacked while in their tent at a campsite along the Hulahula River 12 miles (19 km) upriver from Kaktovik.[70] Two days later the campsite was discovered by three rafters while the bear was still nearby. The bear chased the rafters down the river for over half a mile until it finally gave up. Later, a North Slope Borough Police officer investigating the scene shot and killed the bear at the campsite.[71]
Isabelle Dube, 35, female June 5, 2005 Wild Canmore, Alberta Dube was killed while jogging with two friends on the Bench Trail. After an initial attack, Dube climbed a tree while her friends sought help. The bear brought Dube down from the tree and mauled her.[72][73]

Fish and wildlife officers shot and killed the bear.[73] At the time of the attack, the trail was closed, and the public was told to avoid it.[74] A few days beforehand, the bear had been relocated from Canmore to Banff National Park.[72]

Timothy Treadwell, 46, male
Amie Huguenard, 37, female
October 5, 2003 Wild Katmai National Park, Alaska Treadwell and Huguenard's corpses were found by their pilot at Kaflia Bay. Treadwell was famous for his books and documentaries on living with wild bears in Alaska. State Troopers investigating the incident recovered an audiotape of the attack. The two were killed on the last night before their scheduled pickup after spending several months in the Alaskan bush.[75] The attack is chronicled in the 2005 American documentary film Grizzly Man by German director Werner Herzog.
Timothy Hilston, 50, male October 30, 2001 Wild Blackfoot-Clearwater Wildlife Management Area, Montana Hilston was attacked as he field dressed an elk in Western Montana.[76] A female bear and her cubs suspected in the attack were killed by U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials.[77] Hilston's widow sued federal and state agencies for negligence, and the lawsuits were dismissed by District Court judge Donald W. Molloy.[78]
George Tullos, 41, male July 14, 2000 Wild Hyder, Alaska Tullos' partially consumed body was found at a campground near the Canadian border in Southeast Alaska. The bear was shot and killed.[79]

1990s[edit]

Black bear[edit]

Name, age, gender Date Type Location Description
Raymond Kitchen, 56, male
Patti McConnell, 37, female
August 14, 1997 Wild Liard River Hot Springs Provincial Park, British Columbia McConnell died from injuries while defending herself and her son from a black bear attack on a boardwalk to the hot springs. Kitchen heard the attack in progress, and was killed while attempting to rescue. McConnell's son and a 20-year-old man were also injured. The bear was shot while standing over the victims.[80][81]

McConnell's son received a Star of Courage for his attempt to save his mother. Kitchen also received the honor, posthumously.[82]

Sevend Satre, 53, male June 14, 1996 Wild near Tatlayoko Lake, British Columbia Satre was killed while checking fence lines near the central British Columbia community of Tatlayoko Lake, British Columbia.[80]
Ian Dunbar, 4, male September 16, 1994 Wild 70 Mile House, British Columbia Dunbar was attacked in the back yard of his home. The bear was later killed by conservation officers.[83]
Colin McClelland, 24, male August 10, 1993 Wild Fremont County, Colorado A bear tore open the door to McClelland's trailer and attacked him at Waugh Mountain, Colorado. The bear was later killed by game wardens.[36]
Darcy Staver, 33, female July 8, 1992 Wild Glennallen, Alaska The bear entered her cabin and Staver and her husband fled to the roof. While Staver's husband went for help, the bear killed her. The bear was shot and killed by a neighbor.[84][85]
Sebastien Lauzier, 20, male June 14, 1992 Wild near Cochrane, Ontario Lauzier was attacked while taking soil samples.[86]
Raymond Jakubauskas, 32, male
Carola Frehe, 48, female
October 11, 1991 Wild Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario While they were setting up camp on Bates Island, a black bear broke both of their necks. The bear then dragged their bodies into the woods and consumed the remains. When police arrived five days later, the bear was guarding the bodies. A park naturalist called the attack "right off the scale of normal bear behavior".[87][88]
James Waddell, 12, male May 26, 1991 Wild Lesser Slave Lake, Alberta In the Marten River Campground, Waddel was dragged from a tent during the night and killed.[89]

Brown bear[edit]

A memorial for Christine Courtney, killed by a grizzly bear in Yukon's Kluane National Park
Name, age, gender Date Type Location Description
Ken Cates, 53, male May 25, 1999 Wild Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska Cates was killed while hiking near Soldotna, Alaska in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge. Troopers found Cates' rifle, spent shell casings, and blood nearby which suggested that Cates may have shot the bear.[90][91]
Ned Rasmussen, 53, male November 1, 1999 Wild Uganik Island, Alaska After Rasmussen disappeared on a deer hunting trip, he was found dead.[92]
George Evanoff, 65, male October 24, 1998 Wild near Prince George, British Columbia Evanoff was hiking on the Bearpaw Ridge, 72 kilometres (45 mi) northeast of Prince George, British Columbia. He encountered a grizzly feeding on a moose kill about a half-mile from his cabin. He was bitten on the neck, but his body was not mauled or eaten by the bear.[93][94]
Christopher Kress, 40, male August 22, 1998 Wild near Beaver Mines, Alberta Kress was killed by a grizzly bear while fishing on the South Castle River, near the Beaver Mines campground in Alberta.[95][96]
Craig Dahl, 26, male May 17, 1998 Wild Glacier National Park (U.S.), Montana Dahl's partially consumed remains were found three days after he set off to hike alone in the Two Medicine area of Glacier National Park. He was attacked by a mother and her two cubs.[97][98]
Audelio Luis Cortes, 40, male February 8, 1998 Wild near Kenai, Alaska Cortes was killed immediately after being bitten in the head while laying seismic line in the Swanson River area. His crew walked past the bear's den.[99][100]
Robert Bell, 33, male August 23, 1996 Wild Gates of the Arctic National Park, Alaska Bell was killed while hiking with a friend near the Kugrak river. They startled a mother bear feeding on salmon.[101]
Christine Courtney, 32, female July 5, 1996 Wild Kluane National Park, Yukon Courtney was killed while hiking on the Slim's Valley trail in Kluane National Park. Her husband was also attacked but survived. Park wardens killed the bear.[102]
Shane Fumerton, 32, male
Bill Caspell, 40, male
October 9, 1995 Wild near Radium Hot Springs, British Columbia Fumerton and Caspell were killed while securing an elk in the vicinity of Mount Soderhome, in the Southern Rocky Mountain Trench in southeastern British Columbia.[103][104]
Marcie Trent, 77, female
Larry Waldron, 45
July 1, 1995 Wild near Anchorage, Alaska Trent and her son Waldron were killed by a bear defending a moose carcass while they were hiking on the McHugh Creek Trail in Chugach State Park, near Anchorage, Alaska.[3][105]
John Petranyi, 40, male October 3, 1992 Wild Glacier National Park (U.S.), Montana Petranyi was killed by a mother with two cubs on the Loop Trail, near the Granite Park Chalet.[106]
Trevor Percy-Lancaster, 40, male September 15, 1992 Wild Jasper National Park, Alberta Percy-Lancaster and his wife were setting up camp in an isolated area of the Tonquin Valley. They surprised a bear, and began running away. The bear initially caught Percy-Lancaster's wife, and then he distracted the bear, which turned on him.[107][108]
Anton Bear, 6, male July 10, 1992 Wild near King Cove, Alaska The six-year-old, his mother, and sister were walking down a road when they were approached by a grizzly that had just been feeding at the town dump. The family fled, but the boy was chased down by the bear and killed. The bear devoured most of the victim before villagers could kill the animal.[109]

Polar bear[edit]

Name, age, gender Date Type Location Description
Hattie Amitnak, 64, female July 9, 1999 Wild near Rankin Inlet, Nunavut Amitnak was mauled after trying to distract a bear that attacked and injured two other people at a Hudson Bay camp.[110] She was later awarded a posthumous medal of bravery by then-Governor-General of Canada, Adrienne Clarkson.[111]
Carl Stalker, 28, male December 8, 1990 Wild Point Lay, Alaska While Stalker was walking with his girlfriend, he was chased and consumed in the middle of the town. The bear was shot and killed near Stalker's corpse.[112]

1980s[edit]

Black bear[edit]

Name, age, gender Date Type Location Description
Gordon Ray, 24, male May 29, 1985 Wild near Fort Nelson, British Columbia Ray was killed while on a tree planting project approximately 45 kilometres (28 mi) south of Fort Nelson. He climbed a tree to avoid the bear, but fell, and was attacked. The bear was later shot by a helicopter pilot.[113]
Daniel Anderson, 12, male July 6, 1983 Wild La Vérendrye Wildlife Reserve, Quebec Anderson was grabbed from his tent while camping. His body was found 100 feet (30 m) from the tent.[114]
Melvin Rudd, 55, male May 27, 1983 Wild near Nipawin Provincial Park, Saskatchewan Rudd was killed while fishing in central Saskatchewan.[115][116]
Clifford David Starblanket, 26, male May 21, 1983 Wild near Canwood, Saskatchewan Starblanket, a trapper living in the forest, suffered an attack to his throat and head.[115][116]
Lee Randal Morris, 44, male
Carol Marshall, 24, female
August 14, 1980 Wild near Zama City, Alberta Morris and Marshall were killed by the same bear in separate attacks over a span of two hours. They were working at a remote oil drilling camp.[117]
Allan Russell Baines, 10, male July 18, 1980 Wild Leo Creek, British Columbia, near Granisle, British Columbia Baines was killed on a fishing trip with two other friends.[118]

Brown bear[edit]

A warning sign in Glacier National Park (U.S.)
Name, age, gender Date Type Location Description
Harley Seivenpiper, 40, male November 4, 1988 Wild Port Alexander, Alaska Seivenpiper was killed while hunting alone. The bear dragged Seivenpiper's body almost 1-mile (1.6 km) uphill to a cache. When searchers approached the cache, the bear charged, and was shot and killed.[119][120]
Gary Goeden, 29, male July 28, 1987 Wild Glacier National Park (U.S.) Goeden's partially consumed remains were found at Natahki Lake, Many Glacier Valley, Glacier National Park. He was on a solo hike, and off-trail.[121]
Charles Gibbs, 40, male April 25, 1987 Wild Glacier National Park (U.S.) Gibbs was last seen alive following and photographing a bear with cubs at Elk Mountain in Glacier National Park. Investigators recovered film of the female approaching in attack mode at 50 yards (46 m).[122][123]
William Tesinsky, 38, male October 5, 1986 Wild Yellowstone National Park Tesinkey, a photographer, was mauled after approaching a bear in the Otter Creek area of Hayden Valley, Yellowstone National Park. The bear was killed.[124][125]
Brigitta Fredenhagen, 25, female July 30, 1984 Wild Yellowstone National Park Fredenhagen was dragged from her tent during the night and killed at a backcountry campsite at the southern end of White Lake in Yellowstone National Park.[126][127]
Roger May, 23, male June 25, 1983 Wild Gallatin National Forest May was dragged from his tent, and eaten at the Rainbow Point campground, northwest of Yellowstone National Park. The bear was captured and killed with an injection of poison.[128][129]
Laurence Gordon, 33, male September 30, 1980 Wild Glacier National Park (U.S.) Gordon was killed at the Elizabeth Lake campsite in the Belly River Valley, Glacier National Park.[130][131]
Ernest Cohoe, 38, male August 24, 1980 Wild near Banff, Alberta While fishing with a friend just north of Banff, Alberta, a bear charged and bit off part of Cohoe's face. He died a week later as a result of the injuries.[132][133]
Jane Ammerman, 19, female
Kim Eberly, 19, male
July 24, 1980 Wild Glacier National Park (U.S.) Their partially consumed bodies were found near their campsite at Divide Creek in the St. Mary Valley. The bear was later killed by Native American hunters.[134][135]

Polar bear[edit]

A polar bear in Churchill, Manitoba. Fatal polar bear attacks occurred in Churchill in 1968 and 1983.
Name, age, gender Date Type Location Description
Juan Perez, 11, male May 19, 1987 Captive Brooklyn, New York Perez was killed by two bears after climbing a fence in Prospect Park Zoo, Brooklyn, New York. The bears were killed by police officers.[136]
Thomas Mutanen, 46, male November 29, 1983 Wild Churchill, Manitoba Mutanen was attacked and dragged on a street in Churchill. The bear was part of an annual migration to Hudson Bay. Due to a lack of ice on the bay, the bear wandered into the town.[137]
Conrado Mones, 29, male September 27, 1982 Captive New York City Mones was mauled after climbing three fences in New York City's Central Park Zoo to enter the bear's pen.[138]

1970s[edit]

Black bear[edit]

Name, age, gender Date Type Location Description
Lynn Orser, 30, female July 2, 1978 Captive Aurora, Ontario A bear trained to wrestle humans entered its owner's home and attacked the owner's friend, Orser, in her bedroom.[139]
Alison Muser, 5, female July 1, 1977 Wild Waterton Lakes National Park Muser was mauled when playing with her sister in Cameron Creek in Waterton Lakes National Park. She died en route to a Calgary hospital.[140] The bear responsible for the attack was killed.[141]
George Halfkenny, 16
Mark Halfkenny, 12
Billy Rhindress, 15 (all male)
May 13, 1978 Wild Algonquin Provincial Park The three boys were stalked and killed while fishing near Radiant Lake in Algonquin Provincial Park. This was the first fatal bear attack in the park in eighty years.[142]
Mary Ann Johns, 1 August 12, 1975 Captive Stewardson, Illinois While carnival workers were setting up, a bear was taken out of its cage and chained to a tree. Johns, whose parents were carnival workers, walked by and was attacked. The bear had previously attacked children.[143]
Victoria Valdez, 4, female May 16, 1974 Wild Glenwood, Washington Valdez was mauled while playing 200 yards (180 m) from her home.[144]
John Richardson, 31, male July 25, 1971 Wild near Rocky Mountain National Park Richardson was attacked while camping on private property, just west of Rocky Mountain National Park, and north of Grand Lake. The bear was later killed by a professional hunter. This was the first fatal black bear attack in Colorado.[145]

Brown bear[edit]

Name, age, gender Date Type Location Description
Monty Adams, 32, Male September 12, 1976 Wild Southern Alberta While hunting alone for sheep west of Pincher Creek in Southern Alberta, Adams was mauled by a grizzly bear. Adams was found by two other hunters, and died when rescuers were removing him from the area.[146][147]
Mary Pat Mahoney, 22, female September 23, 1976 Wild Glacier National Park (U.S.) Mahoney was dragged from a tent and killed at Many Glacier campground. Rangers killed two grizzly bears in the area a few hours after the attack.[148][149]
Alan Precup, 25, male September 1976 Wild Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska Precup did not return after backpacking in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve. Days later, searchers found his campsite with his bare skeleton, one intact hand, and both feet still booted.[150]
Barbara Chapman, 24, female July 24, 1976 Wild Glacier National Park (Canada) While hiking with a friend in British Columbia's Glacier National Park, Chapman rounded a bend to find a grizzly bear charging. The bear first attacked Chapman's friend, who initially resisted, but left him alone after he played dead. The bear then attacked Chapman, who fought back and was quickly killed. Chapman's friend sustained serious injuries, but was able to hike out for help. The grizzly bear that attacked and her three cubs were soon found and killed.[151][152]
Jay Reeves, 38, male August 1, 1974 Wild Izembek National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska Reeves was camping alone on the Alaskan Peninsula, near Cold Bay. A fisherman discovered a camp that looked like it was damaged by a bear, and found only Reeves' shoes. A helicopter spotted and shot a grizzly bear near the camp. Later, they found Reeves' remains, and an autopsy on the bear revealed human remains.[153]
Wilf Etherington, 51, male September 25, 1973 Wild Banff National Park Etherington, a biologist with the Canadian Wildlife Service, and a photographer were helping with the relocation of a troublesome grizzly bear in Banff National Park. The bear had been recently trapped and sedated. When the two men approached the bear, it charged and attacked Etherington.[154][155]
Harry Walker, 25, male June 25, 1972 Wild Yellowstone National Park Walker was attacked by a bear that was feeding on food that was left out at his campsite near Old Faithful Inn.[156]
Harvey Cardinal, 40, male January 15, 1970 Wild near Fort St. John, British Columbia Cardinal was attacked and partially eaten while hunting near the Doig River. The bear had a gum infection, and was shot and killed.[157]

Polar bear[edit]

Name, age, gender Date Type Location Description
Lafayette Herbert, 43, male August 26, 1976 Captive Baltimore, Maryland Herbert, who had a history of mental illness, was killed after he climbed into polar bear enclosure at the Baltimore Zoo.[158][159][160]
Richard Pernitzky, 18, male January 5, 1975 Wild Inuvik, Northwest Territories Pernitzky was mauled at an Imperial Oil exploration site. The bear was later shot and killed.[161]
Richard Hale, 19, male January 19, 1972 Captive Toledo, Ohio Hale's body was found at the bottom of the Polar bear grotto at the Toledo Zoo. There was evidence that Hale was under the influence of drugs at the time of his attack.[162][163]

1960s[edit]

Black bear[edit]

Name, age, gender Date Type Location Description
Jack Ottertail, 53, male October 1, 1968 Wild near Atikokan, Ontario Ottertail was killed while on a walk. A bear found near the body was shot and killed.[164]
Susan Duckitt, 11, female August 8, 1967 Wild near Okanagan Landing, British Columbia Duckitt and a friend were picnicking by Okanagan Lake. They went on a walk up a hill and encountered the bear standing on its hind feet. The girls ran away, and Duckitt was caught. A man tracked down the bear and killed it with six shots.[165]
Phyllis Tremper, 3, female September 7, 1966 Captive Prescott, Arizona A pet bear dragged Tremper into its cage at the Ponderosa Trailer Park in Prescott, Arizona. The bear's owner shot and killed it.[166]
Sidney Smith, 26, male September 17, 1964 Wild near Schefferville, Quebec Smith, a technician on a radar line, was attacked by a black bear in a remote area. There was evidence that Smith tried to defend himself with a hunting knife.[167]
William Strandberg, 51, male August 16, 1963 Wild near Fairbanks, Alaska A bear killed Strandberg approximately 160 miles (260 km) west of Fairbanks. Strandberg was a member of a prominent Alaskan mining family.[168][169]

Brown bear[edit]

Name, age, gender Date Wild Location Description
Russell Ringer, 49, male March 31, 1969 Captive Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri Ringer was crushed by his pet bear, which had no teeth or claws, as he entered its cage for a wrestling match at the military base.[170]
Julie Helgeson, 19, female August 13, 1967 Wild Glacier National Park (U.S.) While camping near the Granite Park Chalet, Helgeson was dragged from her tent. Her boyfriend was also severely mauled during the attack.[171][172]
Michelle Koons, 19, female August 13, 1967 Wild Glacier National Park (U.S.) Koons was camping with a group at the Trout Lake campsite. A bear invaded their camp, and while other campers climbed up trees, Koons was caught in her sleeping bag, and attacked.

Although Helgeson and Koons were killed on the same night, these were separate attacks by different bears approximately 9 miles (14 km) apart. Both bears were killed two nights after their attacks.[171][172][173]

Polar bear[edit]

Name, age, gender Date Type Location Description
Paulosie Meeko, 19, male November 17, 1968 Wild Churchill, Manitoba Meeko's throat was slashed by a polar bear, and he died less than two hours after the attack. The bear was shot by the police.[174]

1950s[edit]

Black bear[edit]

Name, age, gender Date Type Location Description
Lyndom Hooper, 51, male September 6, 1959 Wild near Cadomin, Alberta Hooper was fishing alone when attacked 20 miles (32 km) from Cadomin, Alberta. His mutilated body was found in a stream.[175] Three days later, a forest ranger shot a bear .5 miles (0.80 km) from where Hooper's body was recovered.[176] It was later discovered that the bear's stomach contained human hair.[177]
Barbara Coates, 7, female August 12, 1958 Wild Jasper National Park While Coates was picking berries outside of her family's Sunwapta Falls cottage, a black bear appeared. Coates ran to the cottage, but the bear chased and mauled her.[178]
Andrew Mark Palmer, 3, male August 11, 1953 Captive Flagstaff, Arizona While Palmer was playing with his grandparents' pet bear, he was mauled. The bear was shot and killed by a neighbor.[179]
Rudolph Gaier, 50, male November 19, 1952 Wild near Anchorage, Alaska Gaier and a black bear were found dead at a remote mountain cabin. An investigator concluded that Gaier shot the bear after it entered his cabin, and before dying, the bear fatally clawed Gaier.[180][181]
Robert Huckins, 18, male September 19, 1952 Captive Crawford Notch State Park After feeding a bear in its cage, Huckins was chased and killed. The bear also injured three other people, and was eventually shot and killed with thirteen gun shots.[182]

Brown bear[edit]

Name, age, gender Date Type Location Description
Sam Adams, 45, male October 27, 1958 Wild near Ovando, Montana Adams was missing after hunting near the Continental Divide northeast of Missoula. His body was found smashed in three parts. Laboratory studies showed evidence that Adams was in a fight with the bear, which was described as "probably a grizzly".[183]
Kenneth Scott, 29, male October 22, 1956 Wild near Augusta, Montana While elk hunting, a hunter in Scott's group was attacked, and the bear was shot and wounded. When they went back to kill the bear, Scott's gun jammed and the bear mauled him. The bear was later killed by another hunter.[184][185]
Paul Lemery, 28, male October 9, 1956 Captive Libertyville, Illinois Lemery, an animal trainer, was attacked when taking a bear out of its cage. He was preparing for a television appearance with the bear.[186]
Willies McBride, ?, male September 19, 1955 Wild near Eureka, Alaska McBride was mauled while hunting alone. The bear was not found.[187]

1940s[edit]

Black bear[edit]

A black bear searching garbage pails in Yellowstone National Park, circa 1905. Bear attacks on humans led to changes in park's garbage management procedures.
Name, age, gender Date Type Location Description
Carol Ann Pomeranky, 3, female July 7, 1948 Wild Marquette National Forest, Michigan Pomeranky was taken by a bear outside of her home on the Marquette National Forest (now the Hiawatha National Forest) in Michigan. She was dragged 100 yards (91 m). The bear was tracked and killed.[188][189]
Carl Herrick, 37, male November 23, 1943 Wild West Townshend, Vermont Herrick was hunting in West Townshend, Vermont, and his body was found with a blackened face and scratches. His rifle and bear tracks were nearby. A theory is that Herrick shot the bear and thought it was dead, and was squeezed to death when he approached.[190]

Brown bear[edit]

A man wresting with a trained bear. There have been instances of bears killing their trainers.
Name, age, gender Date Type Location Description
Richard Strand, 8, male September 10, 1945 Captive Seattle, Washington Strand was attacked while playing with a pet bear. The bear also bit a neighbor who attempted to rescue Strand. The bear was taken to Woodland Park Zoo.[191][192]
Richard Havemann, 68, male December 11, 1942 Captive San Diego, California Havemann, an animal trainer, was attacked by a Himalayan Brown Bear at the San Diego Zoo.[193]
Martha Hansen, 45, female August 23, 1942 Wild Yellowstone National Park Hansen left her cabin to go to the restroom. As she turned a corner, she surprised a bear and was mauled. Hansen was taken to the hospital and died four days later due to injuries sustained during the attack.[194][195]

Hansen's sister sought, and eventually successfully received compensation for expenses incurred to care for Martha. Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed a bill in 1944 granting the family $1894.95.[196]

Thomas Miller, 28, male June 14, 1941 Captive Detroit, Michigan Miller, a carnival employee, was struck on his head by a bear from Canada. The attack occurred when Miller took the bear out of its cage to perform tricks for his wife.[197]

1930s[edit]

Black bear[edit]

Name, age, gender Date Type Location Description
George Langley, 55, male,
James Virtue, 68, male
October 15, 1936 Captive Ellsworth, Maine Langley owned a gas station where he kept the bear. After entering the bear's cage to feed it, Langley and his helper were attacked. The bear was shot and killed.[198]
William Thomas "Bill" Brown Jr, 64, male, November 11, 1934 Captive Pecos County, Texas Brown was killed while trying to recapture a bear from his roadside zoo. A posse shot and killed the bear.[199]
Grant Taylor, 11, male October 2, 1933 Captive Brookhaven, New York On his walk home from school, Taylor stopped to feed an apple to a bear tethered in front of an inn. The bear mauled Taylor and crushed him against a wire cage. Motorists stopped and used sticks and stones to try to separate the bear from Taylor.

Eventually, a man operating a nearby roadside stand came and shot and killed the bear. An examination revealed that the bear hadn't eaten in two days. The Inn had two bears that were trapped five years previously in the Adirondacks, and were frequently fed by passers-by. Both bears were killed.[200][201]

Peter Matthew Ryan, 5, male October 9, 1932 Captive Albion, New York Ryan was attacked after trying to get a close look at a pet bear. The bear was tied to a fence at Mount Albion Cemetery after a truck transporting it broke down.[202]
Emerson Joyce, 60, male June 2, 1930 Captive Watertown, New York A female black bear who recently had her cubs taken away killed her feeder, Joyce. This occurred at the John C. Thompson Park Zoo.[203]

Brown bear[edit]

Name, age, gender Date Species Location Description
Charles Wyman, 76, male July 18, 1934 Captive Denver, Colorado Wyman, a zookeeper, was attacked by two grizzly bears at the Denver Zoo after spraying them with a water hose. It was speculated that the bears were in a foul mood due to warm weather. The bears were shot.[204]
John Macdonald, 70, male October 1932 Wild near Dawson, Yukon Macdonald's mutilated body was initially found in the wilderness 20 miles (32 km) north of Dawson. Macdonald's corpse was moved to a cabin, and before the police arrived, the bear broke into the cabin and scattered the remains.[205] Macdonald was a woodcutter who lived alone in a shack on the Yukon River.[206]
Thomas Earl, 56, male July 8, 1932 Captive Cleveland, Ohio Earl, a zookeeper at the Cleveland Brookside Zoo, was mauled by a brown bear when feeding the bear in its pen. After a vicious struggle, police shot the bear. Earl was also mistakenly shot, but it was determined that he was already dead.[207] Earlier in the day, Earl was fired from his job by the zoo superintendent.[208]

1920s[edit]

Brown bear[edit]

Name, age, gender Date Type Location Description
Percy Goodair, 52, male September 12, 1929 Wild Jasper National Park Goodair, a Parks Canada warden, was killed by a bear while patrolling the Tonquin Valley.[209][210]
Joseph B. "Frenchy" Duret, 60, male June 12, 1922 Wild Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, Montana Duret was attacked and partially devoured by a huge grizzly. Duret crawled 1.5-mile (2.4 km) back towards his ranch and died in Frenchy Meadow on Slough Creek.[211]

1910s[edit]

Brown bear[edit]

Name, age, gender Date Type Location Description
Frank Welch, 61, male September 8, 1916 Wild Yellowstone National Park Welch was killed at a camp near Sylvan Pass while carrying a load of hay and oats.[212] Men from the camp killed the bear with a dynamite trap.[23]

1900s[edit]

Black bear[edit]

Name, age, gender Date Type Location Description
 ? Laird, 1, ? October 5, 1908 Captive Tucson, Arizona After a bear escaped from a cage at Elysian Grove Pleasure Park, Buss Laird ran with her infant child in a go-cart. The bear grabbed and killed the baby.[213]
Mary Porterfield, 3, female
Wilie Porterfield, 5, male
Henry Porterfield, 7, male
May 19, 1901 Wild Job, West Virginia The children were gathering flowers near their home when they were attacked. A member of a search party found the remains of the children, and shot and killed the bear.[214]

1890s[edit]

Brown bear[edit]

Name, age, gender Date Type Location Description
Phillip Henry Vetter, 37, male Sept. 2 1892 Wild Near Greybull River, Wyoming Vetter, a buffalo hunter, had stated to a fellow hunter a week before, that "he would be going out for some bear." A week later, another hunter seeking shelter from rain, investigated his cabin, which had been ransacked by a grizzly bear, and found Vetter dead in the cabin. A newspaper found, had text written in blood by Vetter before his death, describing his battle with a grizzly bear, and ending with the words "I'm dying." The hunter, and another man, searched for signs of the bear, and found Vetters hat, two empty rifle shells, and his rifle with a shell jammed in its chamber. Vetter was buried in Old Trail Town, Cody, Wyoming.[215]

1880s[edit]

Black bear[edit]

Name, age, gender Date Type Location Description
John Robinson, ?, male 1883 Wild Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania Robinson's dead body was found near train tracks. There was evidence of bear tracks and a "terrible struggle".[216]
John Dennison, 82, male June 1881 Wild Happy Lake Isle, Ontario This was Ontario's first recorded fatal black bear attack. Dennison was inspecting his bear traps on Happy Lake Isle, in what is now Algonquin Park. After discovering a bear caught in the trap a struggle between the two ensued, ending in both their deaths.[217]

Brown bear[edit]

Name, age, gender Date Type Location Description
"Old Ike," ?, male June 1886 Wild Salmon River (Idaho) One of the most successful bear hunters, he killed over 100 grizzlies during the 1800s. In June 1886, he wounded a grizzly bear near the headwaters of the Salmon River, but not enough to cripple the animal. After pursuing it into a dense stand of trees, he was attacked by the bear and mauled, with the bear biting into his chest. Within a few minutes his entire chest had been crushed by the one bite. The bear was driven off by his companions.[218]
Richard Wilson, ?, male July 1885 Wild Sedona, Arizona A bear hunter, Wilson was hunting grizzly bears and shot one near Oak Creek, Arizona. He followed the bear into a thicket and was attacked. He tried to escape by climbing a tree, but the bear pulled him down and killed him.[218]
Hyrum Naegle, ?, male Circa 1885 Wild Colonia Pacheco, Chihuahua, Mexico Hyrum and his brother shot and wounded a grizzly bear which they pursued, thinking it would soon expire. While brother George was repairing his gun, Hyrum went to shoot the bear but was mauled and killed when the bear crushed his skull. The bear was shot and killed by George's repaired rifle.[218]

Unknown[edit]

Name, age, gender Date Type Location Description
Frank Devereaux, ?, male September 1883 Wild Cheboygan, Michigan Devereaux and the bear's corpses were found in the woods. There were indications that the bear and man fought each other.[219]

1870s[edit]

Brown bear[edit]

Name, age, gender Date Type Location Description
William Waddell, ?, male 1875 Wild Big Basin Redwoods State Park Waddell, a lumber mill owner, was killed near Waddell Creek in Santa Cruz County, California.[220]

1860s[edit]

Brown bear[edit]

Name, age, gender Date Type Location Description
Charles Henry Gates, 35, male August 30, 1863 Wild Cache County, Utah Gates was with hunting a grizzly bear that escaped from a trap and was mauled. In 2004, the descendants of Gates placed a new headstone at his gravesite.[221][222]

1850s[edit]

Brown bear[edit]

Name, age, gender Date Type Location Description
Andy Sublette, 46, male December 19, 1854 Wild Santa Monica, California An experienced bear hunter who hunted and killed many bears, Sublette shot and wounded a bear after being separated from his hunting party near present-day Santa Monica in 1854. He was then mauled but stabbed the bear to death with his knife and with the help of his dog. His dog survived, but Sublette died seven days later due to his injuries.[218]
Issac Slover, 81, male October 14, 1854 Wild Mount San Antonio A trapper and hunter who hunted grizzly bears even in his older ages, Slover shot and wounded one on Mount San Antonio near his cabin. The large wounded bear crawled into the brush, and Slover reloaded and followed, where he was attacked, torn to pieces, and died.[218]
Jim Boggs, ?, male Circa 1850 Wild Russian River, California While hunting grizzly bears, he blundered into the den of a mother with cubs. He was attacked and killed.[218]

1830s[edit]

Brown bear[edit]

Name, age, gender Date Type Location Description
Peter Lebec, ?, male October 17, 1837 Wild Fort Tejon, California Lebec was out hunting grizzlies. He dispatched one with a well-placed shot and, assuming it to be dead, approached it. However, the bear rallied and lunged, throwing him to the ground and breaking his neck. He was killed instantly, but the bear was later killed by Native American hunters.[223]

Maps[edit]

See also[edit]

Species:

References[edit]

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