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Death in Yellowstone



Yellowstone National Park, Montana – The inquiry into the event this past summer involving the discovery of a human foot in a hot spring close to West Thumb has been completed by Yellowstone authorities.

Il Hun Ro, a 70-year-old man from Los Angeles, California, was the victim, and it was determined that his death was caused by heat.

Which is more dangerous in the park, hot springs or bears?

On June 8, 2016, park rangers in Norris Geyser Basin were attempting to locate the body of a man who had fallen into a hot spring the day before. The first day’s recovery was hampered by a storm, and the second day’s 212° corrosive water left nothing to be recovered.

The man’s sister, who was with him, videotaped his fall into the hot pool, according to a report on the incident that was published with some material redacted after a freedom of information act request. The two had ascended a slope that was a few hundred feet above the boardwalk, where notices advised people to remain.

“They were specifically moving in that area looking for a place they potentially could get into and soak. I think they call it ‘hotpotting,’” Deputy Chief Ranger Laurent Veress said.

A grizzly bear murdered a park concessionaire worker a year prior, close to the Elephant Back Trailhead in the Fishing Bridge region of the park. As the third bear-related mortality inside the park in the past two summers, the death attracted widespread attention.

Outside of the park, there have been additional lethal grizzly assaults.

In June 2010, a Shoshone Forest cabin owner was killed near Yellowstone’s East Entrance after hiking into the region where a grizzly boar had been released after being captured and sedated by federal biologists.

In the Soda Butte Campground outside of Cooke City, close to Yellowstone’s Northeast Entrance, another man died that year. The victim was attacked as he slept in a tent.

But since Yellowstone’s opening in 1872, just eight humans have died in bear assaults inside the park.

Which element of Yellowstone National Park is the deadliest, then?

“Death in Yellowstone,” written by retired Yellowstone historian Lee Whittlesey, has the answer.

It’s lakes.

Since the park’s founding in 1872, there have been 22 deaths using thermal characteristics in addition to the eight bear-related fatalities.

But 123 people have perished in Yellowstone’s frigid waters over the course of the past 150 years.

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