The Adirondack Daily Enterprise is reporting that a hunter shot and killed the famous black bear known as Yellow-Yellow last month. The 20-year-old female — named for the two yellow tracking tags that wildlife officials attached to her ears in 2004 as part of a High Peaks bear study — became a national celebrity in 2009 when the New York Times wrote about her unusual ability to open a "bear-proof" food container called the BearVault.
Seven Days' Ken Picard wrote about the brilliant bruin for our 2011 Adirondack issue. Click here to read "A Cause for Paws," (July 27, 2011).
According to the Daily Enterprise:
The roughly 20-year-old sow was killed on Friday, Oct. 21 in the town of Jay, said DEC spokesman Dave Winchell. The hunter contacted DEC because the bear was wearing a radio collar, which was later used to identify her, Winchell said. Neither of bear's yellow ear tags were on her ears when DEC wildlife checked, and the hunter reported that the animal did not have them when he shot it.
Apparently, advanced age brought about an alleged increased aggressiveness toward campers and hikers with food, which is a common phenomenon among the animal kingdom as anyone observing geriatrics at a Denny’s around five in the afternoon can attest. Perhaps this aggressiveness played a role in her recent demise.
RIP, Yellow-Yellow. We'll see you at that big pic-a-nic in the sky.