In mid-June, a dead grizzly bear appeared washed up in the Yellowstone River north of Gardiner.
From the looks of it, the massive animal had likely drowned somewhere and then washed up shortly after. The Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks crew then intended to remove the animal safely from the area.
When they returned to get the dead bear, it had been decapitated and declawed. The possession of these parts is actually illegal. Grizzly bears are protected under the Endangered Species Act, which means whoever has these parts broke federal law, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is now involved.
According to Billings Gazette, this grizzly bear was fairly well-known in Yellowstone National Park. He was tagged with the number 394 and was 25 years old. Although this seems like an older age, it is fairly common for grizzly bears in Yellowstone to live well into their 20s.
Apparently, the bear appeared to have been in a recent fight with a fellow bear, leaving him with a swollen eye and blood on the head.
In just a single year at Yellowstone, 18 grizzly bears have died. Some of which passed away from drowning in the Heart Mountain Canal.
There are currently no leads or suspects for taking the bear parts. However, the investigation is still well underway. A nearby sculptor actually went and took pictures of the dead bear after hearing about its location. This was before it had been brutally mutilated. He posted about the grizzly bear on his website and included photos of its claws, teeth, and was very careful not to give away a location.
Bruno the Bear Passes away
Unfortunately, a very internet famous bear recently passed away as well.
Bruno was known by millions of devoted fans on social media. He had wandered hundreds of miles all across the Midwest and eventually reached Louisiana.
According to the Des Moines Register, Bruno had been hit by a vehicle. He had both his back legs broken and was paralyzed after an incredibly serious spinal injury. The beloved bear was dragging himself around, unable to move his back legs at all.
However, Bruno had lived for about a month before he was discovered. A nearby homeowner reporter the bear because it wasn’t leaving her yard. Sadly, he had to be euthanized because he was in very bad shape and was unable to move properly on his own.
The social media bear even had its own Facebook group dedicated to him called “Keeping Bruno Safe.” The group has about 213,000 members. The group was only meant to keep track of the bear and try to keep him safe. It was not intended to allow people to track or follow the bear.