Details on the death of the iconic and legendary "Scarface" (#211) of Yellowstone have been released. The information below is a statement released by Jim Halfpenny, Ph. D and Connie Jeffcoat. It answers many questions surrounding the untimely death of bear #211.
"We are in possession of case files about the death of Scarface, bear number 211, released through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) disclosure and mailed to us on June 8, 2017. The documents include some key information that should be shared with the Greater Yellowstone Community, especially bear lovers.
Scarface was killed by a hunter returning in the dark with a headlamp lighting his way. The investigation confirmed that Scarface was apparently shot at about 10 feet from the trail on which the hunter was walking when the encounter occurred.
US Fish and Wildlife Service, in collaboration with other agency agents, could not disprove the claim of a self defense shooting. On July 5, 2016 the US FWS declined prosecution.
Information in the documents counters several rumors that have been prominent. The hunter was not employed in Gardiner and was not a resident of Gardiner or Montana. The hunter was not a Native American. The hunter was neither an employee of Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks nor any other agency. The hunter was not a young lad from Pennsylvania.
While those of us who knew Scarface may doubt the gravity of the situation in the dark, the evidence does not allow us to question the immediacy of the situation and evaluate the demand for prompt action.
In recognition of evidence supporting a self defense situation and what may have happened with a dark colored bear in the dark of the night only illuminated by a headlamp, we will not release the name of the hunter.
It is significant that the hunter apparently was not carrying bear spray. Perhaps a $45 expenditure might have save the life of this iconic bear.
Dear friend, for a quarter century you have delighted and enlightened us – thank you. Now travel softly through the berry patches of your next life."
Jim Halfpenny, Connie Jeffcoat June 13, 2017"
Tyler Brasington is a native born and raised Pennsylvanian, yet proud current Wisconsin resident. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a B.S. in Environmental Science. Currently, Tyler is pursuing his masters in Natural Resources with the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. He has worked in Yellowstone National Park under the guidance and supervision of Dr. George Clokey and Dr. Jim Halfpenny.
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