Craig Clouatre’s remains were found by park rangers after an extensive search last several days, as local sheriffs warned the popular father of four had been mauled to death by a bear
Craig Clouatre, 40, had been hiking with a friend in Six Mile Creek near Yellowstone National Park when they split up.
Once his friend reached their meeting point and Craig was nowhere to be seen the alarm was raised, triggering an extensive search of the popular area.
His remains were found by park rangers.
Park County Sheriff Brad Bichler said: “It is with a very heavy heart that I am writing this update. After an extensive search this morning we have located Craig.
“It appears he had an encounter with a grizzly and unfortunately did not survive.
“Please keep his family and all those involved in your thoughts and prayers.
“We’re fortunate to have a group of experienced volunteers on our SAR [Search and Rescue] team and we’re thankful for the folks who have come to help.”
The tragedy is the second to befall the family, who lost everything they own in a devastating fire two years ago.
His wife Jamie wrote on Facebook : “I don’t have many words really right now and I’m not reaching back out to everyone who has reached out to me…but I appreciate every one of the sentiments and memories of the most amazing person I have ever known, my husband.
“I loved him with every single fibre of me….he was a vital part of me and our children and it is going to be a struggle for the rest of our lives.
“To say we are broken is an understatement. I have to relearn how to be and who I am and stay strong enough for our kids.
“No easy way to put it, this is not fair, they don’t deserve this. The support in this community is incredible and I know it comes from Craig…who he was, a joy, a truly kind, good, GOOD man.
“There is no one else like him in the entire world. Thank you all for everything! We all lost something and the world is a hell of a lot dimmer.”
The area Craig had been hiking through has dense forests near the mountains which is known to house animals such as deadly grizzly bears.
Encounters with humans are rare. Around ten people per year die of encounters with grizzlies who boast four inch claws on their front paws as well as jaws which are so powerful it is believed they could crush a bowling ball.
Family friend Kristin Wachob launched a GoFundMe site for his wife, Jamie, and four children which has reached around £40,000 ($55,000).
She said: “Wednesday, Craig went on a hiking trip with a friend. They separated ways temporarily and Craig never made it back to the spot they were supposed to meet. Today, after search and rescue efforts were put in place, Craig was found. Unfortunately, he had an encounter with a grizzly bear and did not survive.
“This family has an intimate familiarity with tragedy as only 2 years ago they lost almost everything in a house fire.
“There is really no good way to help, at this time the needs they have far outweigh the ability to provide support. But one way we can all rally together is to raise funds so that they don’t have to worry about anything financially.
“Anyone who has met Craig, had a friend in him. He was a man full of joy and kindness. And more than anything, he loved his family. He leaves behind a loving wife and four beautiful children.
“Please join me in wrapping this precious family up and supporting them the best way we can at this time.”