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Bears Tied to Mauling Are Killed

November 03, 2001|From Associated Press

MISSOULA, Mont. — A female grizzly bear and her two cubs were shot and killed by Montana wildlife authorities Friday for the fatal mauling of a hunter.

Bill Thomas, a spokesman for the state Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks, said authorities killed the sow and cubs when they returned to the area where Timothy Hilston was attacked on Tuesday.

"We are very confident that these are the bears that were involved in this mauling," Thomas said. "Any bear that is involved in a human fatality, according to our rules, must be removed."

The bear carcasses were taken to a state wildlife lab in Bozeman for necropsies and forensic tests.

Authorities believe Hilston, 50, of Great Falls, was attacked while he was gutting an elk he had killed in the Blackfoot-Clearwater Wildlife Management Area, about 38 miles northeast of Missoula.

A search began when he did not return from a hunt as planned Tuesday. His body was found Wednesday morning near an elk carcass that had been partially buried by bears.

Wildlife authorities closed the management area and staked out the site, believing the bear or bears that killed Hilston would return for the carcass.

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