Urban bear

A large black bear roams Cottonwood subdivision in 2018. A different bear was seen this morning in Cottonwood Park, Teton County School District No. 1 said in a text message to parents.

A black bear was spotted in Cottonwood Park on Wednesday.

Teton County School District No. 1 sent a text message to parents that morning saying the bear had been seen in the park. No one reported the bear at any of the schools in the area, but the district told parents and students to be cautious.

The bear, it seemed, was simply looking for a way to reach the Snake River. Wyoming Game and Fish Department spokesman Mark Gocke said the department received a call about the black bear around 8 a.m. Wednesday. It was in a tree on South Park Loop Road with at least a few people gathered around it.

"Our bear biologist went down there and kind of backed people off," Gocke said. "The bear came down and headed west toward the Snake River."

Gocke said that should be the end the story unless the bear is reported to be in another populated area. It didn't appear that the bear had been caught by Game and Fish before because it didn't have the ear tags typically put on an animal when it is captured.

The ursine encounter Wednesday was the second Game and Fish has had this week. Over the weekend, a subadult black bear was eating apples out of trees near the base of High School Butte. As a precaution, Gocke said, the bear was relocated to Togwotee Pass.

Last October a 420-pound male black bear was caught after roaming near the schools on the south end of town for several days. That bear had already been relocated to the southern end of the Wyoming Range once, so Game and Fish euthanized it.

Contact Tom Hallberg at 732-7079 or thallberg@jhnewsandguide.com.

Tom Hallberg covers a little bit of everything, from skiing to long-form feature stories. A Teton Valley, Idaho, transplant by way of Portland and Bend, Oregon, he spends his time outside work writing fiction, splitboarding and climbing.

(1) comment

Morgan Graham

One mechanism for reducing bear attractants...


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