Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park officials, in coordination with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, euthanized a "highly food-conditioned," 4-year-old female grizzly bear on Saturday. 

"This action was taken after the bear received numerous food rewards from unsecured sources, causing it to exhibit increasingly bold behavior," according to a National Park Service press release today. "This behavior caused the bear to pose a threat to human safety and therefore it was removed from the population."

Over the course of more than a year, the grizzly received multiple food rewards, and its bad behavior near humans was escalating, according to the press release.

It's the second grizzly bear in a month that was killed due to food conditioning, with the son of popular Grizzly 610 meeting his fate in late September. More than two dozen grizzlies around the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem have been killed by wildlife managers this year due to conflicts over garbage, food and livestock, according to Louisa Willcox, co-founder of Grizzly Times, including two cubs that were killed in early October near Cody. 

Several black bears also have been reported getting into trouble in neighborhoods across the valley in recent weeks, as the looming winter sends them into hyperphagia, a time when they are active and on the hunt for food before hibernation.

Officials did not identify the grizzly captured and killed Saturday by a name or number in the press release, but they described her history of accessing unnatural food sources around private residences and in the park itself.

In October of 2020, the bear accessed numerous unsecured attractants at a private residence south of the park, the press release stated. During the fall of 2021, the grizzly received additional food rewards on private lands and caused property damage. The bear eventually broke into bear-resistant dumpsters in Grand Teton National Park.

"Once a bear receives a human food reward, it can become food conditioned," according to Teton Park officials. Food rewards can include human food, trash, livestock feed, compost, pet food, beehives, etc.

"Over time, food conditioned bears may become bold or aggressive in their attempts to obtain human food, as was the case with this bear," park officials said. 

Park officials made the decision to capture and kill the bear per Interagency Grizzly Bear guidelines and per the park's bear and wildlife management plan. 

Teton Park officials provided the following timeline of incidents involving the female grizzly: 

  • October 5, 2020 Based on GPS collar data, localized at a private residence south of the park.
  • October 9 – 16, 2020 Based on GPS collar data, localized at a private residence south of the park.
  • October 21, 2020 Based on GPS collar data, localized at a private residence south of the park.
  • September 3, 2021 Received food reward of chicken feed on private lands.
  • September 4, 2021 Received food reward of chicken feed on private lands.
  • September 12, 2021 Caused property damage on private lands.
  • September 14, 2021 Caused property damage on private lands.
  • September 16, 2021 Received food reward of bird and livestock feed on private lands.
  • September 24, 2021 Received food reward of garbage on private lands.
  • September 25, 2021 Received food reward of garbage on private lands.
  • September 26, 2021 Received food reward of garbage on private lands.
  • October 4, 2021 Caused property damage and received food reward of garbage on private lands.
  • October 5, 2021 Received food reward of garbage on private lands.
  • October 7, 2021 Received food reward of garbage from bear-resistant trash can in Grand Teton.
  • October 9, 2021 Received food reward of garbage on private lands.
  • October 10, 2021 Received food reward of garbage from bear-resistant dumpster in Grand Teton.

"You can make a difference in a bear’s life by doing your part to ensure bears never obtain human foods, whether you call the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) home or are just passing through," officials advised in the release.

"Odors attract bears. By storing attractants so bears cannot gain access and securing all trash in a bear-resistant dumpster, you can make sure a bear does not receive human foods," the release stated. 

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