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Brian Matayoshi of Torrance Killed in Yellowstone Bear Attack: Animal, Given Reprieve, Was Said to be Protecting Her Cubs

The site of the Yellowstone bear attack.
The site of the Yellowstone bear attack.

A mama grizzly bear that was looking after her cubs in Yellowstone National Park was startled by a husband-and-wife pair of L.A.-area hikers and mauled the man to death this week.

The Torrance victim was ID'd today as 57-year-old Brian Matayoshi of Torrance. His wife, Marylin, was nearly killed as well as the bear picked her up by her daypack and let her go before heading for her husband. She yelled for help, and nearby hikers called 911.

But when rangers showed up about 11:30 a.m. yesterday, Matayoshi was gone. He suffered ...

" ... multiple bite and clawing injuries," according to a National Park statement.

It happened at the Wapiti Lake Trail as the pair was about 1.5 miles from the trailhead and walking back to a car.

Hiking trails in the area were closed after the attack. But the bear was given a reprieve. According to the statement:

The initial investigation suggests the sow grizzly acted in a purely defensive nature to protect her cubs. This female bear is not tagged or collared, and does not apparently have a history of aggression or human interaction.

[@dennisjromero/djromero@laweekly.com]