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COOKE CITY, Mont. (AP) - Wildlife officials expected DNA test results to confirm Friday that a captured grizzly bear and her three cubs were the animals that killed one camper and injured two others in a rampage that has set tourists in this Yellowstone National Park gateway community on edge.
Fibers from a tent or sleeping bag were in the captured bears' droppings, and a tooth fragment found in a tent appears to match a chipped tooth on the 300- to 400-pound sow.
But officials say they will decide the bears' fate only after the test results are in. "Everything points to it being the offending bear, but we are not going to do anything until we have DNA samples," said Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesman Ron Aasheim.
Officials have said the sow will be killed if DNA evidence confirms that it attacked the victims early Wednesday at the Soda Butte Campground, five miles from the entrance to Yellowstone. State and federal wildlife officials will decide what happens to the cubs, which are feared to have learned predatory behavior from their mother.
Two cubs were captured Thursday. But a third remained at large and officials said it could not be allowed to stay in the wild. The cub could be heard nearby through much of the day Thursday, calling out to its mother and eliciting heavy groans from the sow, which was captured first and then left in its trap to attract the offspring.