Man Killed by Grizzly in Yellowstone Visiting 'Place He Loved,' Family Says

Wildlife agents now trying to capture grizzly bear that killed Michigan man.

ByABC News
August 30, 2011, 7:45 AM

Aug. 30, 2011 -- The Michigan man found dead last week, killed by a grizzly bear while hiking through Yellowstone National Park, died while visiting a place he loved, his family told ABC News.

Relatives of 59-year-old John Wallace told ABC that he'd told his wife in a voicemail last week that "being in Yellowstone was like being in heaven."

Wallace's body was found Friday along the Mary Mountain Trail where he had been hiking. Hikers found his body by itself, surrounded by bear tracks. An autopsy concluded he died from injuries sustained in a bear attack.

Click here for tips on how to avoid a bear attack.

"We're still trying to piece it together from the evidence that's on site in terms of what were the circumstances that led to the attack," Park Superintendent Dan Wenk told ABC News.

Wildlife agents are now trying to capture the bear. On Monday, they began setting traps, and they plan to kill the animal if they can establish through DNA analysis that it was the same bear that killed Wallace.

Wallace's death is the second fatal bear attack this summer at the famed park.

Brian Matayoshi was killed by a female bear in July while hiking along the popular Wapiti Lake Trail with his wife, who was forced to watch helplessly as her husband was attacked.

Matayoshi's killing occurred eight miles away from where Wallace's body was found Friday, but officials do not believe the same bear was involved in both attacks.

The female bear that killed Matayoshi was not killed because park officials said the sow was only defending its cubs and had not threatened humans before.