The Wyoming Game and Fish Department captured an adult male grizzly bear in the Pinedale area last week, relocating it to the Mormon Creek drainage, approximately 5 miles from the East Entrance of …
The Wyoming Game and Fish Department captured an adult male grizzly bear in the Pinedale area last week, relocating it to the Mormon Creek drainage, approximately 5 miles from the East Entrance of Yellowstone National Park.
The bear was captured on Wednesday after depredating on livestock on a U.S. Forest Service grazing allotment north of Pinedale, the Game and Fish said.
“Grizzly bear relocation is a management tool afforded to large carnivore biologists to minimize conflicts between humans and grizzly bears and is critical to the management of the population,” the department said in a recent press release.
When other options are exhausted or unattainable, Game and Fish will attempt to capture a bear and consider all circumstances before determining whether the individual should be relocated or removed from the population. Bears that are deemed an immediate threat to human safety are not released back into the wild, the release added.
To date, 13 grizzlies have been euthanized by officials in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosysytem. That includes five inside the area deemed as suitable habitat for the species, known as the demographic monitoring area (DMA). The other eight bears to be “lethally removed” were outside the DMA, including one in Carbon County, Montana on Thursday.
A total of 16 grizzly bears have been killed this year, including two hit by vehicles near Cody on Wyo. Highway 120.
All known and probable deaths of grizzlies are reported by the U.S. Geological Survey while the species is listed for protection under the Endangered Species Act.
The Game and Fish noted that all management decisions involving grizzly bears are made at the direction of and in cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Consultation with the appropriate personnel and agencies occurs to minimize the chance of future conflicts and maximize the survival potential of the relocated grizzly bear, the department said.
Game and Fish continues to stress the importance of the public’s responsibility in bear management and the importance of keeping all attractants (food items, garbage, horse feed, bird seed, and others) unavailable to bears. Reducing attractants available to bears reduces human-bear conflicts, the department said.
Last week, a grizzly bear attacked a man who was hiking along a game trail near Deer Creek Pass in the Shoshone National Forest’s Washakie Wilderness, beyond the end of the South Fork corridor. The hiker reportedly surprised the bear, coming within 7 or 8 feet of the animal while it was laying down. The man suffered injuries to his chest and arm, but was able to hike out and receive medical treatment.
Given the circumstances of the incident, the remote location and the low chance of locating the bear, the Game and Fish took no management action.
— By Mark Davis