What happens when a grizzly bear kills a human being in Yellowstone National Park? An examination of a special criminal justice system designed to protect endangered bears, while giving leeway to euthanize bears that kill humans in ways that are deemed “unnatural”:

It’s a squirrely notion, that a team of government biologists might be able to figure out why a bear does the things it does, or whether any bear behavior could truly be described as “unnatural.” But whatever its shortcomings, the grizzly justice system has been mostly successful over the years since it was introduced, and is reasonably popular. People seem to like the fact that a female bear can kill someone while protecting her cubs and be acquitted of the crime. According to a poll conducted by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department in 2001, more than 70 percent of Wyoming residents believe that grizzly bears are a benefit to the state and are an important component of the Yellowstone ecosystem. They want grizzlies to have the benefit of the doubt.

“A Death in Yellowstone.” — Jessica Grose, Slate

See also: “Taming the Wild.” — Evan Ratliff, National Geographic, Feb. 18, 2011