1st Bear of 2021 Relocated Entirely Within Park County | Big Horn Radio Network | Wyoming

1st Bear of 2021 Relocated Entirely Within Park County

Written by on April 13, 2021

Wyoming Game and Fish captured a beef-hungry grizzly outside Meeteetse and relocated it outside Cody, placing the year’s first bear affair entirely in Park County.

At the direction of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department captured and relocated an adult male grizzly bear on Sunday, April 11.

The bear was captured while attempting to mitigate cattle depredation on private lands west of Meeteetse, WY. Because the bear was not the individual responsible for killing cattle, the decision was made to relocate it.

In cooperation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the bear was relocated to the Sunlight Creek drainage approximately 28 miles northwest of Cody, WY.

The Sunlight Creek drainage in Park County was chosen due to the lack of human presence and ability to release the bear several miles behind closed gates.

Park County is a popular spot for grizzly relocation. Several grizzlies were captured and relocated in the county in 2020, some even being placed within the Sunlight Creek drainage.

Grizzly bear relocation is a management tool large carnivore biologists use to minimize conflicts between humans and grizzly bears and is critical to managing the population. When other options are exhausted or unattainable, Game and Fish will attempt to capture the bear.

All circumstances are considered when determining if a captured individual should be relocated or removed from the population. The selection of a relocation site is determined by considering the age, sex, and type of conflict the bear was involved in and potential human activity in the vicinity of the relocation site.

Bears that are considered a threat to human safety are NOT relocated.

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. Bears that are deemed an immediate threat to human safety are not released back into the wild.

Bears are relocated following state and federal law and regulation. Game and Fish stresses the importance of the public’s responsibility in bear management and the importance of keeping all attractants (food items, garbage, horse feed, birdseed, and others) unavailable to bears.

Reducing attractants available to bears reduce human-bear conflicts. For more information on grizzly bear management and reducing the potential for conflicts, please visit the Bear Wise Wyoming page.

For further information, please contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Grizzly Bear Recovery Coordinator, Hilary Cooley, at (406) 243-4903.

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