Yellowstone National Park officials say they will not kill or capture a grizzly bear that mauled a 57-year-old hiker to death because it was only defending its cubs and had not threatened humans before.

Yellowstone bear management biologist Kerry Gunther says they see no reason to take action against the bear. Wednesday's attack was the first fatal mauling in the park in 25 years.

The bear killed 57-year-old Brian Matayoshi of Torrance, Calif. His wife, Marylyn, was lifted off the ground by the bear, but was not injured.

Other hikers called emergency personnel.

Park spokesman Al Nash says the bear will be left to wander the backcountry.

He says there's no reason to believe the bear had ever encountered humans before.

Associated Press