Town of kelly

The town of Kelly has experienced several conflicts with bears recently.

A frantic woman called 911 Saturday to report that someone was banging on her door and windows trying to break in.

Then she looked outside and saw that it was a black bear.

The bear, which has been the subject of several complaints around Kelly recently, was trapped and killed Monday morning.

“It was just not afraid of people at all,” Wyoming Game and Fish Department spokesman Mark Gocke told the Jackson Hole Daily.

Teton County sheriff’s deputies arrived around 3:15 p.m. Saturday to the house in Kelly along with Game and Fish.

“Both our game warden and bear biologist responded,” Gocke said. “But the bear was gone by the time they got there.”

The male adult black bear left behind some damage on the door and windows of the house. In the past two weeks Game and Fish has logged half a dozen complaints from Kelly residents about the black bear.

The bear was successful in getting into a couple of trash cans and tore into someone’s barbecue grill in the town of Kelly, Gocke said.

“It does serve as a good reminder that we do need to take care of our garbage,” Gocke said. “Not that he got garbage everywhere he went, but he did get some garbage food rewards.”

The black bear was about 5 years old, Gocke said, and about 250 pounds, which is on the thin side. The bear reportedly didn’t respond to people’s efforts to spook him out of their yards.

“Our experience is that when an animal reaches that level of human habituation it’s going to continue to seek out human foods,” Gocke said.

The bear was caught in a culvert trap using bait, sedated and shot — a method that Game and Fish decided would be the most humane way to euthanize the bear given the circumstances.

“We use the quickest, most humane way we know of,” Gocke said.

Contact Emily Mieure at 732-7066 or

Emily Mieure covers criminal justice and emergency news. She also leads the News&Guide’s investigative efforts. She has reported for WDRB TV in Louisville, Ky., WFIE TV in Evansville, Ind., and WEIU TV in Charleston, Ill.

(1) comment

Dan F Webb

It's imperative to remind ourselves, as well as our neighbors that in order to protect the bear population in our community, we need to adhere to the educational materials and requirements the County/Town/WDF@G have put out for those areas. Bear resistant carts and containers where needed. No Composting. Clean up fallen and rotting fruit from trees. Bag your trash and don't hold it for more than a week. Keep your container and cans clean. The loss of these animals due to our mistakes is a hard pill to swallow.

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