TORRANCE, Calif.–Authorities today identified a 57-year-old Torrance man as the victim of a deadly grizzly bear attack in Yellowstone National Park.
Brian Matayoshi suffered multiple bite and claw injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene following the attack by a female grizzly as he and his wife, Marylyn, were hiking on the popular Wapiti Lake Trail about 11 a.m. Wednesday.
The couple began walking away after surprising the bear and her cubs about 100 yards away, then ran after seeing the bear running down the trail toward them, according to a statement released by Yellowstone National Park.
The grizzly caught up with Matayoshi and attacked him, then turned its attention to his wife, who had fallen to the ground nearby. The bear bit the woman’s daypack, lifting her from the ground and dropping her as she remained still, park officials said.
Matayoshi’s wife unsuccessfully tried to call 911 on her cell phone, then shouted for help. A group of hikers heard her and called 911.
Authorities said their initial investigation suggested that the grizzly “acted in a purely defensive nature to protect her cubs,” and apparently does not have a history of aggression or human interaction.
The National Park Service does not normally trap, relocate or kill a bear under those circumstances, according to the statement.
Hiking trails in the area have been closed, and a board that will include interagency experts will review the first fatal grizzly bear attack in the park since 1986.