Black bear foraging

A black bear climbs a tree in pursuit of berries in Grand Teton National Park in this file photo from 2018. A young black bear was euthanized Thursday after entering an occupied campsite in the Jenny Lake campground and eating food that was set out. 

A young, food-conditioned black bear that has been hanging around Jenny and String lakes was euthanized Thursday in Grand Teton National Park.

The park’s decision to put down the bear came after an incident Wednesday during which the bear approached a campsite in the Jenny Lake Campground that a family was occupying at the time, went to the picnic table and began eating food that was out.

The campers were relocated to another site, and the area was closed so the bear could be captured. It was trapped and killed Thursday evening. The bear was estimated to be about 1 1/2 years old and 60 pounds.

Odors from food and other scented products can attract bears to campgrounds and picnic areas.

The park recommends that picnickers keep only “immediate use” items out so they can be put away quickly if a bear approaches. That removes the opportunity for the bear to receive a food reward, which can habituate the animal, lead to future conflicts and, possibly, its death.

Park visitors should not burn waste in fire rings or leave litter in campsites. Food and other scented products should be stored in a hard-sided vehicle or the bear-resistant food lockers in the park.

“The key reminder is to everybody that we live and recreate in bear country and we ask that everybody recreate responsibly,” Grand Teton spokesperson Denise Germann said.

Contact Billy Arnold at 732-7063 or barnold@jhnewsandguide.com.

Contact Billy Arnold at 732-7063 or barnold@jhnewsandguide.com.

Teton County Reporter

Previously the Scene editor, Billy Arnold made the switch to the county beat where he's interested in exploring Teton County as a model for the rest of the West. When he can, he still writes about art, music and whatever else suits his fancy.

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