Yellowstone National Park rangers have put down a grizzly bear that killed a hiker and ate part of his body.
Officials killed the bear on Thursday after tests confirmed it had eaten part of the man’s body and hid the rest.
It is not normal behaviour for bears to feed on humans, park officials said.
“If a bear consumes an individual, it’s not allowed to remain in the population,” park spokeswoman Amy Bartlett said. “It’s not a risk we’re willing to take.”
Two of the female bear’s cubs also fed on the man, but the park does not plan to kill the cubs. Instead the animals will be transferred to a zoo.
“Cubs can adapt to a facility much easier, and there is no danger of them learning humans are food,” Ms Bartlett said.
Lance Crosby, 63, of Billings, Montana, was hiking alone without bear spray last week when he was attacked by the 259-pound grizzly.
The park rules say people should hike in groups and always carry bear spray – a form of pepper spray that is used to deter aggressive bears.
His body was found on Friday in the Lake Village section of the park in northwest Wyoming. A post mortem examination found that Crosby tried to fight back.
The park’s decision to kill the bear has come under intense criticism because Crosby – who worked at Yellowstone as a nurse – did not follow park policies during his hike.
Yellowstone has received hundreds of calls and letters denouncing the decision since the bear was captured last weekend.
Six people have been killed by grizzly bears in the park since 2010. However, bears who attack humans are not automatically put down. Often, female bears are protecting their young when they attack.
“Had this bear just had a defensive attack, we would probably be looking at a different outcome,” Ms Bartlett said.