Legendary bear of the Adirondacks killed by hunter

By WKTV News

An icon of Adirondack lore is dead. The famous Yellow-Yellow, a sow black bear that could open bear-proof food canisters and lived in the Forest Preserve just outside of Lake Placid, was shot and killed by a hunter, The Adirondack Almanack reports.

In an obituary by Almanack writer Dan Crane, Yellow-Yellow, who was roughly 20 year old, was killed by a hunter on October 21 in the town of Jay. Described as a shy, small female black bear, named after the color of the tags placed on each ear by New York State Department of Conservation wildlife biologists in the early 2000's, Crane writes that she was known more for stealth and ingenuity than brawn, which eventually led to her notoriety.

"As bears go, she typically avoided contact with humans, being more thief than brigand," Crane writes.

According to the Almanack report, she became notorious for her ability to thwart the BearVault, a supposedly black bear resistant canister used for safeguarding foodstuffs from hungry bruins. Despite the canisters thorough testing using both black and grizzly bears, Yellow-Yellow remains the only bear to ever open the lid and extract the many goodies inside. The report adds that she enhanced her repertoire this summer, with reports of her thwarting the Bear Keg, another type of bear resistant canister, although it appears that canister was improperly sealed.

Yellow-Yellow became widely famous for her unique talent when her exploits were featured in a 2009 New York Times article, featured in the Adirondack Explorer and at the Adirondack Almanack. As her fame as a talented thief grew, many appropriated meals were attributed to her, whether or not she was sighted in the immediate area.

Her ear tags were absent at the time of her death, the Almanack reports, adding that she still had on her radio collar, which allowed for her identification.

"Rest in peace, Yellow-Yellow," Crane writes. "You will be missed. Wherever you are, may you find a plentiful supply of BearVaults to open, each filled with your favorite backpacking treats."

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