A hunting guide was mauled to death by grizzly bears, officials said, while his client was injured but survived.
Mark Uptain was identified as the guide who was fatally mauled.
The grizzly bears believed to have attacked Uptain and his client Corey Chubon were euthanized.
“All available evidence indicates that these two bears were the bears involved in the Terrace Mountain attack,” Rebekah Fitzgerald, a spokeswoman for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, said in a statement obtained by USA Today.
Uptain and Chubon were preparing to pack out an elk they had killed when they were attacked by the bears, a mother and her cub, on Friday, Sept. 14.
Survivor Describes Attack
Chubon of Florida spoke out about the attack and how he survived.
Chubon told KTVB that he and Uptain were dressing the elk when they heard a noise.
“We heard rocks tumble and all of a sudden we turn around and we see two giant grizzly bears, coming at us,” Chubon said.
He tried to load his pistol as one of the bears swiped at him, before grabbing his leg and swinging him.
“I was thinking to myself, ‘This is it,'” Chubon said. Then, he was suddenly let go.
“Somehow the grizzly let me go and charged Mark again, and that’s when I made the decision to run for my life,” Chubon said. “The approach he took in dealing with the bears probably saved my life.”
What would you do if you saw a pair of grizzly bears? A New Smyrna Beach man is back home after surviving the bear attack that killed his guide: https://t.co/S3Ctzm29gN
— Spectrum News 13 (@MyNews13) September 17, 2018
Uptain leaves behind a wife, Sarah, and five children, according to family friend Rauli Perry.
When he died, Uptain “was doing one of activities he had extreme passion for,” Perry wrote on GoFundMe.
“Even more than the outdoors Mark loved his beautiful wife Sarah and their 5 amazing kids. Please give what you can or share to help this family in their time of need.”
He added, “I have been best friends with Sarah since the 2nd grade, we have done a lot of life together. I know I can’t take away the pain, but if we can help support Sarah to be able to focus on the kids and not worry about finances.”
Wyoming officials kill 2 grizzly bears who mauled hunter to death https://t.co/mV5MMkIZ4e
— UPI.com (@UPI) September 18, 2018
Bear Hunt on Hold
The attack came as the plan for a grizzly bear hunt in September was put on hold by a federal judge, infuriating hunting groups who argued that the current bear population presents a threat.
“I can only imagine how horrific this was,” Sy Gilliland, a hunting guide and spokesman for the grizzly hunting community, told USA Today. “You’ve got a bear population that’s basically un-hunted, is an apex predator, and has no fear of humans.”
The groups opposing the hunt said they were sorry to hear of Uptain’s death but said September and October are often the peak of encounters between bears and humans.
“We do not want to diminish the loss of a community member or the suffering of his family. However, construing the incident as a reason to justify the trophy hunting of grizzlies makes little sense,” said Melissa Thomasma of Wyoming Wildlife Advocates. “Killing more bears will not prevent other bear-hunter conflicts, but it may irrevocably jeopardize the health of the grizzly population around Yellowstone.”