JACKSON, Wyo. (KIFI) — After coordination with the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department captured and relocated a subadult male grizzly bear on Aug. 26.
The grizzly bear was captured and relocated due to habituated roadside behavior that resulted in human safety issues on a state highway. Substantial efforts to prevent people from practicing unethical wildlife viewing practices were unsuccessful. Due to negligent human behavior and to protect people and the animal, the grizzly bear was moved. In cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Caribou-Targhee National Forest, the bear was relocated to the Fall River drainage approximately 28 miles northwest of Moran.
Grizzly bears are relocated in accordance with state and federal law and regulation, and Game and Fish is required to update the public whenever a grizzly bear is relocated.
Grizzly bear relocation is a management tool large carnivore biologists use to minimize conflicts between humans and grizzly bears. It is critical to managing the expanding population of grizzly bears in Wyoming.
Capture is necessary when other deterrents or preventative options are exhausted or unattainable. Once the animal is captured, all circumstances are taken into account when determining if the individual should be relocated. If relocation is warranted, a site is determined by considering the age, sex, and type of conflict the bear was involved in as well as potential human activity nearby.
Grizzly bears are only relocated into the recovery zone or adjacent areas. With any relocation, Game and Fish consults with appropriate agencies to minimize the chance of future conflicts and maximize the relocated grizzly bear’s survival.
Bears that are considered a threat to human safety are not relocated. In some cases, a bear may be removed from the population if it cannot be relocated successfully.
HOW THE PUBLIC CAN HELP
Game and Fish continues to stress the importance of the public’s responsibility in safe wildlife viewing, bear management and the importance of keeping all attractants such as food, garbage, horse feed, bird seed unavailable to bears. Reducing attractants available to bears reduces human-bear conflicts, and in some cases, relocations.
For more information on grizzly bear management and reducing the potential for conflicts, visit the Bear Wise Wyoming webpage.